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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Date published:
October 24, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Omega Pharma-Quickstep loses sponsor

    Omega Pharma - Quick Step were in control in the team time trial and came away with the gold
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 21:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Q8 pulls out, not due to doping scandal

    The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team has lost one of its secondary sponsors, Sporza reported today. Kuwait Petroleum International, or Q8, has decided to stop sponsoring cycling, but insists its choice has nothing to do with the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

    "Our decision has nothing to do with the recent doping stories," the company stated.

    "We have had seven beautiful years in cycling. Now we want to pursue other objectives with our sponsorship. This decision was taken in August."

    In addition to Quickstep, Q8 also had its name associated with the Belgian Classics Liège-Bastogne-Liège and La Flèche Wallonne.

    In August, Lance Armstrong lost his appeal to a Texas court to block the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from pursuing doping charges against him, and then refused to fight the lifetime ban and disqualification of his results to an arbitration panel, his only recourse for appeal.

    One of the riders who testified against Armstrong was Levi Leipheimer, a member of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team until he was given a six-month ban for admitting to doping.

    USADA's reasoned decision was finally issued on October 10, 2012, and since then all of Armstrong's personal sponsors have turned their backs on him, although they remain loyal to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or Livestrong as it is known.

    In the wake of the fallout, Rabobank announced it would no longer put its name behind its professional cycling teams, although it stood by its financial obligations to the team.


  • WADA: Testing alone not sufficient to combat doping

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 22:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Agency awaiting outcome of UCI special meeting on Friday

    The World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey has stated that "testing and analysis alone" is not enough in the fight against doping in sport.

    Responding to the UCI's statement on its acceptance of the US Anti-Doping Agency's lifetime ban and disqualification of Lance Armstrong's past sporting achievements, Fahey's official statement stated that his agency "is encouraged that the UCI feels it can use this case as a catalyst to thoroughly clean up its sport and remove any remaining vestiges of the doping programs that have clearly damaged cycling over the last decade".

    He was more frank in an interview with Fox Sports, pointing out there are still more questions to ask about how Armstrong and the majority of the cycling peloton could be doping in such a flagrant manner.

    "Looking back, clearly the doping was widespread," Fahey said to Fox Sports. "If that doping was widespread, then the question is legitimately put: 'Who was stopping it? Who was working against it? Why wasn't it stopped? I think it's relevant to ask those questions."

    The UCI has called a special meeting of its Management Committee for Friday, October 26, where Fahey hopes these questions will be raised. "I look forward to seeing what they propose to do for the future to ensure what we've seen through this Armstrong debacle doesn't happen again.

    "They clearly have to take the blinkers off, look at the past, examine the people who are there, ask themselves the questions: 'are those same people still in the sport and can they proceed forward with those people remaining?'.

    "I don't think there's any credibility if they don't do that and I think they need to get confidence back into the sport so that its millions of supporters...

  • Contador, Spanish Federation to pay UCI and WADA's costs in Clenbuterol case?

    Pat McQuaid and Alberto Contador at the start of the men's road race
    Article published:
    October 24, 2012, 1:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Report says 450,000 euros incurred in appeal

    A report in Spanish newspaper El Pais claims that the UCI and WADA are chasing 450,000 euros in expenses from Alberto Contador and the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, following the referral of his doping case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Contador has consistently denied any wrong doing regarding his positive test from the 2010 Tour de France and stated that food contamination after eating a Spanish steak was the most likely cause for his positive control. He remains firm on his position and continued to reiterate his position after winning another grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana last month.

    "That other number appears on paper, it is ultimately secondary to me. What matters is my own feeling and the impressions that remain in the retina of the spectators," he said. With his win in the Vuelta, Contador's official grand tour win tally stands at five, after he was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d'Italia titles.

    El Pais reports that the costs were incurred because Contador was initially acquitted by the RFEC and the UCI and WADA have detailed their expenses that were spent on lawyers, witnesses and research, and sent them on to the CAS.

    The Contador's management will argue that they should not have to pay because the RFEC acquitted him, "the case started again from scratch and we did not intervene."


  • Mercier: The UCI must get rid of Pat McQuaid

    UCI President Pat McQuaid and RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel
    Article published:
    October 24, 2012, 2:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Former US Postal rider says UCI is accountable for Armstrong case

    Former US Postal rider Scott Mercier, who claimed he was offered performance enhancing drugs by team doctor Pedro Celaya in 1997 says that UCI president Pat McQuaid must be held accountable for the case surrounding Lance Armstrong and the prevalent doping that occurred at US Postal. Mercier's decision to leave the team at the end of 1997 was heavily influenced around his refusal not to dope.

    For the sport to move forward, the UCI must rid itself of the "complicit" McQuaid says Mercier. He also believes Armstrong's refusal to admit to the allegations made against him and contained within USADA's comprehensive 1,000-page dossier is "pathetic."

    "Just as in politics they say 'it's the cover-up not the crime' and I think that's true here. I don't know what the next steps for him are. It's the same thing with Pat McQuaid claiming the UCI has no responsibility, no culpability. I think the leadership needs to be held accountable and really they need to get rid of Pat McQuaid at the UCI," Mercier told Sky Sports.

    "I think it's a shame he's [Armstrong] still denying. There's overwhelming evidence, eye witness testimony, apparently they have hard evidence of blood manipulation and it's sad and pathetic."

    Mercier didn't ride alongside Armstrong who was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France wins by the UCI earlier this week but he was part of the US Postal team - until he decided to leave the team at the end of the 1997 season. Mercier claims doping was already ingrained before the young Armstrong joined in 1998.

    "I think it [doping] was quite prevalent in '97, obviously I left at the end of that...

  • Jamieson hopes fitness is enough to get him through Grafton defence

    Mark Jamieson (Jayco-2XU) takes a turn on the front
    Article published:
    October 24, 2012, 4:30 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    2011 winner lines up for second NRS event of the season

    Defending champion for the 228 kilometre Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, Mark Jamieson, admits he may be a little underdone when it comes to race form, but don't be surprised if he gives himself every chance to make the final selection on Saturday afternoon.

    Jamieson has had just one start in this year's Australian National Road Series, The Tour of the Great South Coast in August riding for the RBS Morgans - ATS squad that has since collapsed, but was also kept busy in the first half of 2012 riding as a pilot for blind Paralympian Bryce Lindores.

    "I feel honoured to be riding with the Aussie Hotel Inverell team because they're trying to save my bacon a little bit with the collapse of our team," Jamieson told Cyclingnews. "There's some really good guys in our team. I've been training pretty closely with Geoff Straub and had a lot to do with Brendan Jones who's been organising it. We'll have a good crack."

    A former world champion on the track, Jamieson won last year's classic in a record time of 6:00:21, ahead of Chris Jory and Brian McLeod, with his wily track nous certainly playing a role as he outwitted and outpaced the handful of riders to make the final selection on Gibsons Hill, six kilometres out from the finish. It was the biggest win of his career on the road.

    This time around, Jamieson says he'll have to keep what intensity he does have up his sleeve for later in the race and will evaluate his chances by the time the race reaches the Wire Gully climb, the penultimate KOM of the day.

    "Last year I had the race...

  • Cycling in Olympics not under threat by IOC

    Hein Verbruggen passed the ProTour to McQuaid leaving him a constant battle with the Grand Tour organisers.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2012, 7:05 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI presidents will not face investigation

    While the International Olympic Committee will await the full decision of the UCI before stripping Lance Armstrong of his 2000 Olympic Games bronze medal, one thing it is not intending to pursue is investigations into those in charge of the UCI during the time of cycling's deepest doping problems.

    A report by Belga today expanded on the IOC's position, which came alongside the UCI's announcement on Monday that it would uphold the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency to ban Armstrong for life, stating that the IOC would not investigate the UCI's role in the widespread doping that occurred in the 1990s and into Armstrong's seven-year reign.

    The USADA report did not contain concrete evidence of misdeeds by the UCI, but cycling's teams association, the AIGCP today called for an independent commission to be formed, perhaps under the World Anti-Doping Agency, which would look into all the anti-doping practices employed in cycling and assess their performance.

    The WADA president John Fahey asked yesterday that if doping was as widespread as the USADA report maintains, it is relevant to ask "Who was stopping it? Who was working against it? Why wasn't it stopped?"

    The UCI president at the time of Armstrong's now-disqualified seven Tour de France victories, Hein Verbruggen, remains an honorary IOC member and honorary president of the UCI, while current president Pat McQuaid is a current IOC member for Ireland.

    The IOC maintains that cycling is under no threat of being removed from the Games. "It would not be correct to punish the vast majority of clean athletes if we exclude the UCI from the Games," said the IOC,...

  • Live: 2013 Tour de France presentation

    Article published:
    October 24, 2012, 11:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Follow the route presentation live on Cyclingnews

    The route of the 2013 Tour de France will be officially unveiled at 11:30am Central European Time, and you will be able to view the announcement live on Cyclingnews.

    It is already known that the Grand Depart will be in Corsica, and the inclusion of the Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez are heavily rumored, but the rest of the course will not be official until organiser Christophe Prudhomme lifts the curtain.

    How will the ASO react to the lifetime ban and disqualification of results of Lance Armstrong, which was ratified by the UCI on Monday? In an event that traditionally honours past winners, how will they fill seven empty blanks? Find out here when the presentation commences.

    Press Conference Tour de France