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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Date published:
October 16, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Dr Ferrari unperturbed by USADA evidence

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    October 15, 2012, 20:20 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian doctor studying documents that accuse him of doping

    Dr Michele Ferrari has told Cyclingnews that he is studying the documents from the USADA doping investigation but refused to be drawn on if or how he will respond to the multiple accusations that he helped Lance Armstrong and other riders dope with EPO, Growth Hormones and blood transfusion techniques.

    Speaking from his home on the outskirts of Ferrara, where riders –including Armstrong - often secretly visited him, the 59-year-old Italian seemed unperturbed by the weight of doping accusations that have emerged thanks to the USADA investigation.

    "I'm going to take time to study 1000 pages of documents from USADA. It's taken them two and half years to gather the documents, so it's going to take me some time to go through them…" he told Cyclingnews.

    Dr Ferrari is mentioned 489 times in just the 202-page Reasoned Decision document published by USADA. His name and allegations of how he helped riders dope also appear multiple times in other documents and affidavits.

    USADA revealed the intimate role played by Dr. Ferrari in masterminding Armstrong's Tour de France success, a relationship that ran from before the Texan’s diagnosis with cancer in 1996 through to his comeback in 2009. USADA was able to trace more than a million dollars in payments to the Italian doctor, with payments ranging from 1996 to 2006.

    The report also includes numerous eyewitness accounts from Armstrong's teammates, detailed in affidavits.

    Tyler Hamilton confirmed under oath that, "Dr. Ferrari injected [him] with EPO on a number of occasions." Hamilton's first injection of EPO from Dr. Ferrari came in Dr. Ferrari's camper while training at Sestriéres in 1999.

    An affidavit in Italian by Italy's Leonardo Bertagnolli includes

  • Ashenden critical of Cycling Australia

    Dr Michael Ashenden
    Article published:
    October 15, 2012, 21:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Anti-doping expert says Australia facilitated Armstrong

    Michael Ashenden, the anti-doping expert and former member of the UCI's expert panel, has criticised Cycling Australia – the governing body of cycling in Australia, for a lack of action against doping.

    In a column written for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in Australia, Ashenden described Cycling Australia as “long on talk, but short on walk” for their apparent lack of action in investigating doping and their hesitance in taking a hard stand against doping.

    Ashenden was a founding member of the UCI's expert panel that reviewed riders' blood profiles for evidence of doping. He resigned from the panel earlier this year, objecting to the Athlete Passport Management Unit’s introduction of an eight-year confidentiality clause.

    Cycling Australia appointed Matt White as professional men's road coordinator for the Cycling Australia High Performance Program in 2011, despite the UCI requesting he be investigated following Floyd Landis's initial accusations of doping at the US Postal Service team. On Sunday, White quit his role in Cycling Australia and his position as directeur sportif with Orica-GreenEdge after he confessed to doping during his career.

    “Not surprisingly, Australian cycling is in turmoil following Matt White's admission that he doped. However, we are missing the point if we bring only the riders to account,” Ashenden writes in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    “Indeed, with obvious exceptions such as Armstrong, I consider them to be victims of a broken system, rather than evil-doers. It's time the organisations who oversee cycling are held accountable for what has transpired, and nowhere is that more evident than here in Australia.”

    “I am in no doubt that Cycling Australia is part of the problem. For too long, it...

  • Fränk Schleck has "good feeling" about doping defence

    blank
    Article published:
    October 15, 2012, 23:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    2012 Tour de France's only positive goes in front of Luxembourg panel

    The only rider to test positive in this year's Tour de France, Fränk Schleck, came away from his meeting with the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) with "a good feeling", according to Wort.lu.

    The RadioShack-Nissan rider's case has been overshadowed by that of his team's general manager Johan Bruyneel, who stepped down from his role after the dossier of evidence involving him and Lance Armstrong, among others, was released by the US Anti-Doping Agency this week.

    Schleck tested positive in a sample taken on July 14 for the banned diuretic Xipamide, but denied having knowingly taken the drug. He was suspended by his team.

    "I would first like to thank ALAD," Schleck said following his hearing, "they gave me the opportunity to have my testimony heard. We gave our extensive dossier to the appropriate authorities a week ago, and now we have to give them the necessary time to reach a verdict.

    "I am very happy and have a good feeling. We put a lot of time and energy into preparing our defence. I have every confidence that the after our statements and testimony, the disciplinary committee will come to the correct result."

    Schleck was supported by his teammate Maxime Monfort, who acted as a character witness. "I'm here as a friend and to tell the truth," he said.

     

  • Former Armstrong teammate plans Nike protest

    Lance Armstrong zips up his Livestrong jersey and is ready to go.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2012, 0:58 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Group standing up for "fundamental human rights issues"

    Paul Willerton, a former professional cyclist who rode for the US alongside Lance Armstrong during two world championship road races, said he and a small group of athletes and cycling fans plan to show up at the Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, on Tuesday morning to protest the company's continuing support for Armstrong.

    Nike released a statement supporting Armstrong on the same day USADA released its reasoned decision detailing its evidence against the embattled former US Postal team leader, and the company is scheduled to continue co-sponsoring high-profile events celebrating Livestrong's 15th Anniversary.

    "We're a group of athletes who don't stand for organized crime in sports," Willerton told Cyclingnews Monday. "We don't allow bullying and intimidation inside the cycling industry or any industry for that matter. These are fundamental human rights issues. So to have a company like Nike standing there and saying they publicly support that, I can't stand for it myself, and I know I'm not alone in that."

    Willerton started his professional cycling career in 1991 on Team Z with Greg LeMond. He moved to the new Subaru Montgomery team for the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He rode with Armstrong at one amateur world championship road race and at the professional world championships in 1992. But by the end of 1993 he had become discontent with what was happening in the European peloton.

    "It was the feeling that everyone describes of riding in peloton that was influenced by the oxygen drugs," Willerton says looking back on his days in Europe. "It was crazy speeds. Even up category three climbs there would be 10-foot gaps that would sit there for 15 minutes trying to close. It wasn't my idea of how I wanted to make a living. I didn't feel like I wanted to do it anymore."

    Willerton said he never...

  • Australian Sports Commission says amnesty sends the wrong message

    Cadel Evans with Gerry Ryan and Klaus Mueller
    Article published:
    October 16, 2012, 4:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Chief executive warns Cycling Australia to act appropriately

    Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth has warned Cycling Australia that they will be on notice following the doping admission of Matt White and that calls for an amnesty would be inappropriate.

    Following the release of the USADA Reasoned Decision documents last week, Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said: "It might now be time to consider a range of options including an amnesty for athletes who have cheated in the past to own up to any wrongdoing and have their confessions mitigate any subsequent penalties."

    Hollingsworth however, does not believe that an amnesty sends the right message.

    "In relation to calls for an amnesty, I believe it is premature," he is quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. "It is important that we send a clear message that any doping is unacceptable, and an amnesty would be inconsistent with that."

    The Australian Sports Commission is held accountable by the Australian Federal Government with one of its roles being to oversee the delivery of funding programs to national sporting organisations, including Cycling Australia. Funding is dependent on sporting bodies upholding their end of the bargain when it comes to anti-doping requirements and given some of the questions now being asked about White's employment with Cycling Australia, the federation could find itself under increased scrutiny.

    "The commission will be watching the actions of Cycling Australia closely."
     

  • Barry calls for changes in pro road cycling

    Canada's Michael Barry (Sky) in action during the 2012 Tour de Suisse.
    Article published:
    October 16, 2012, 6:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Shared TV revenue, safer races and an anti-doping culture are needed

    Michael Barry, formerly of Team Sky, called for change in professional road cycling in an essay written by him and published in the New York Times on Monday. Five days ago, Barry publicly confessed to doping from 2002 to 2006, during his tenure at the US Postal Team. He had previously confessed to USADA during its doping investigation of Lance Armstrong.

    "Professional cycling needs to be completely restructured," wrote Barry, who urges cycling to follow the path of other pro sports... The evolution must persist. The sport cannot continue to risk crushing our children's dreams and damaging lives."

    Barry said that pro teams should share in the revenue from television rights as a way to help balance out the loss of sponsorship money that can come suddenly when a team doesn't earn enough points to keep its position in a World Tour. He envisions a league in which "teams are stable and sustainable and all profits are shared".

    He notes that another problem with the current system is the ongoing mandate for racers to compete at a high level throughout a long season. "The constant pressure to perform and to survive results in poor judgment and bad advice. When teams and riders are in constant survival mode, ethical lines are easily crossed."

    Barry points out instances in his own career when he raced but probably shouldn't have - when injured or ill - due to the pressure to collect ranking points. He describes the culture of the sport during his youth and early pro years as one in which "doping was tolerated or even encouraged".

    He mentions the toll of the...

  • Bike Pure: Substantial change rests with the UCI

    The Bike Pure wrist bands
    Article published:
    October 16, 2012, 10:02 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Anti-doping campaigners applaud the efforts of USADA

    Anti-doping campaigners Bike Pure say that the evidence exposed in USADA's case against Lance Armstrong and his associates should hopefully lead to the next generation of riders never again being "faced with some of the decisions that many riders faced during the Armstrong era."

    Co-founder Andy Layhe told Cyclingnews that claims that USADA's investigation had been a ‘witch hunt' are incorrect and Armstrong's attitude "speaks volumes as to the depth of cheating, lies and corruption that was being implemented during his reign at the Tour de France."

    "It's important that USADA and Travis Tygart are applauded for their resilience and pursuit of the truth in compiling this report, anti-doping agencies are the backbone of ethical sport, helping to protect the honest clean athletes who deserve to embark on careers free of doping and we must support them," Layhe said.

    Bike Pure came to life following the controversy surrounding the 2007 Tour de France and the actions of Alexandre Vinokourov and Michael Rasmussen. 

    There has been discussion both in and out of the cycling community as to what good such an investigation does for the sport when the alleged wrong-doings are now so long ago. However Bike Pure believes that in order to move forward, cycling must make peace with the past. 

    "It looks considerably cleaner than several years ago with climbing speeds decreasing, the signs are promising," said Layhe.

    "Increased testing, coupled with out-of-competition testing is working. We aren't stating it's 100 percent clean but the signs are more encouraging now than they have been for a number of years. Compare cycling to mainstream sports such as tennis and football and it's clear to see the sport is doing more testing. To a degree cycling has become a scapegoat for other sports who have yet to face up to the reality of doping. The more riders you test, the more you are going to catch - it's simple...

  • Vacansoleil to investigate Bole, Rabobank has no problem with Sanchez

    Grega Bole (Lampre - ISD)
    Article published:
    October 16, 2012, 10:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Both riders named in connection with Dr Ferrari in USADA's Reasoned Decision

    The two Dutch WorldTour teams are taking opposite approaches to revelations that their riders or new signings have been mentioned in the USADA Reasoned Decision documents.

    Vacansoleil-DCM has said it will start an investigation into new signing Grega Bole, but Rabobank said it saw no need for an investigation into Luis Leon Sanchez's alleged links with Dr Michele Ferrari.

    Bole, who rode for Lampre from 2010 to 2012, signed with Vacansoleil for 2013. His name arose in a conversation between Leonardo Bertagnolli and Dr Ferrari, which is part of Bertagnolli's sworn statement to Italian police. According to a transcript, the two talked about Aicar, a product that works on muscular tissue and encourages the burning of fats. Bertagnolli said that it came from a Slovenian supplier, the names of several Slovenians were mentioned, with investigators noting that of Bole.

    Team manager Daan Luijkx has already spoken with Bole about the matter. “He said that he had nothing to do with it, but I want it on paper,” Luijkx told De Telegraaf. “Once we have that, we start an investigation.”

    In contrast, Rabobank sees no need to investigate Sanchez, who is named by Volodimir Bileka as having trained at St. Moritz, at a time when Dr Ferrari was working with riders in there 2007.

    “The assertion by Bileka that Luis Leon Sanchez trained in St. Moritz in 2007 is right,” Rabobank said, according to De Telegraaf.  “His former team Caisse d'Epargne trained in 2007 with Ferrari.  Sanchez declared that he...