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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Date published:
January 15, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Cycling Australia President: Wood report shows we have integrity

    Cycling Australia
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 5:28 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Mueller also pushing for laws that require cooperation with ASADA

    Cycling Australia has released an official response to the Wood Report commissioned by the Federal Government which was made public on Monday.

    Among former New South Wales Supreme Court chief judge Wood's 16 recommendations was that Cycling Australia -
    • Upgrade governance structures;
    • Build anti-doping accountability and networks;
    • Establish an ethics and integrity panel;
    • Improve anti-doping education;
    • Extend the reach of testing; and
    • Develop stronger sanction regimes.

    Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said that the body is confident about the future of the sport in Australia.

    "I think it demonstrates that those who have investigated us carefully have seen that there is integrity in our programs," he said via statement.

    "Many of the recommendations are consistent with the views that we put forward during the review process and we have been addressing them in the normal course of business.

    "Cycling Australia will adopt the key recommendations presented by Mr Wood and we will work closely with the Australian Sports Commission and other key stakeholders to implement them," stated Mueller

    "Cycling Australia is committed to improving and evolving our organisation to meet the challenges that we face. We acknowledge our position of leadership not only here in Australia but through our representation internationally."

    Mueller also made note of the recommendation that Cycling Australia "Provide sanctions for an athlete, coach or sport support person who refuses to cooperate with an ASADA investigation." It's a point that has been argued by Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates who has said that in effect, ASADA's powers are limited due to a lack of supporting legislation.

    "Cycling Australia relies on ASADA...

  • South Australian Premier wants Armstrong to re-pay Tour Down Under fees

    Lance Arstrong received a pair of RM Williams as a gift for coming to South Australia.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 6:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Weatherill says: "many South Australians will feel deceived"

    The Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, says that Lance Armstrong should repay the money that the state gave the cyclist to appear at the Tour Down Under.

    Weatherill deposed former premier Mike Rann as state Labor leader in 2011, with the latter certainly leveraging his political campaigning with Armstrong. The Tour Down Under is partially funded by the South Australian Government through Tourism South Australia. Race staff have long acknowledged that Armstrong was paid a fee, believed to be up to $3 million per year to attend the Australian WorldTour event between 2009 and 2011, however the exact figure is deemed "commercially in confidence" by the South Australian Government.

    When news of Armstrong's appearance fees initially hit the headlines in 2009, Rann trumpeted that the money was actually going to the cancer survivor's charity. Armstrong however then told the New York Times that he was treating the payment as income.

    "It's not simply showing up to a bike race and getting paid to race the bike," he informed the publication. "I'm not being paid to race. Is there a fee for other things? Yes, but that's not any different than what I've done the last three or four years, actually longer than that."

    Weatherill, speaking following reports that Armstrong had confessed to doping while recording an interview with Oprah Winfrey which will got to air later this week, said that "many South Australians will feel deceived" by the 41-year-old.

    There are no laws in place for the government to recoup Armstrong’s payments.

    "Certainly, I'd be more than happy for Mr Armstrong to make any repayment of monies to us," said Weatherill.

    "He's a cheat and he's deceived people. I don't think people like that should gain any more attention."

     

  • Armstrong's confession could lead to $100 million whistleblower lawsuit

    Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis on the US Postal team
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 8:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    US Justice Department considering joining Landis suit

    The United States Justice Department is considering joining a federal whistleblower lawsuit reportedly filed by Floyd Landis, according to the Wall Street Journal. The suit is aimed at recouping the sponsorship funds provided by the US Postal Service, which supported the team from 1996-2004, in light of the US Anti-Doping Agency's lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong for doping.

    If the suit is successful, Landis could, under the Federal False Claims Act, personally claim up to 30% of the funds that the government wins.

    The confession to doping that Lance Armstrong has reportedly made to Oprah Winfrey in a to-be-aired interview could contribute to the Justice Department's decision. The deadline for joining the suit is Thursday, January 17, the day the interview will be broadcast on the OWN network.

    The qui tam suit would depend on proving that the defendants "misrepresented themselves in the contract with the US Postal Service", according to the WSJ report. After Armstrong’s first two Tour de France victories, the sponsorship contract detailed that any negative publicity as a result of the use of banned substances or violations of anti-doping clauses would constitute "an event of default", which would terminate the contract. It also provided for any other "relief" available under the law.

    The US Postal Service contract in 2001 was renewed to the tune of $32 million, according to documents available in the US Anti-Doping Agency’s reasoned decision. The total settlement to the government could, by law, be two to three times that amount.

    However, any damages would be dependent on how much...

  • Paul Smith inspired by Andy Warhol for Giro d'Italia maglia rosa design

    British designer Paul Smith with the four leaders' jerseys he designed for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 10:07 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    British designer has no sympathy for Armstrong

    Sir Paul Smith showed Cyclingnews a photograph of Andy Warhol's pop art portrait of Marilyn Monroe to explain his inspiration for his design of the maglia rosa and the other leader's jersey for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

    The British fashion designer explained that his love of vintage cycling jerseys from the fifties and sixties lead him to opt for a minimalist jersey design, adding only touches of contrasting colour to the pink, red, blue and white of four leader's jerseys.

    Each of the four leader's jerseys also has Smith's signature on the collar, his trademark colour stripes on the left sleeve and a cyclist drawn by Smith on the side panel. The jerseys are produced by Santini.

    "I wanted to keep the jersey design very simple. I was inspired by Andy Warhol's and put a very nice pink with red together to create a pop art style, with colours that clash together but in a modern colour combination."

    "It's bright but I wanted a minimal design too. I don’t like the jerseys with lots of clutter. I hope the riders like it and will feel cool in.  There have been lots of god jersey designs over the years but I like the iconic jerseys: the rainbow jersey and the celeste Bianchi jersey from the Coppi era."

    "I think we have to thank Rapha for reintroducing simplicity and elegance back into cycling. Jerseys were very beautiful and simple but as we got more and more commercial in sport, clothing became covered in advertising."

    Smith loved cycling as a teenager but a serious crash when he was 18 meant he spent several months in hospital and lead to him discovering design and fashion. He has a house in Tuscany and first visited the Giro d'Italia in 2011 and returned in 2012 for the final day in Milan.

    May is a busy time for the fashion world but Smith hopes to see Bradley Wiggins try and win

  • Dutch cycling announces strict new anti-doping policy

    The 2013 Blanco team poses for its team photo on the seafront at Playitas.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 11:08 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Violations after January 1 2008 will lead to immediate dismissal

    The Dutch Cycling Federation and two of the Dutch UCI WorldTour teams have adopted a strict new anti-doping policy, which includes refusing to hire any rider or staff member who has served more than a six-month doping ban. The Federation, the Dutch Doping Authority and representatives from Blanco Pro Cycling and Vacansoleil-DCM announced the new plans at a press conference. The Argos-Shimano team did not attend, saying the  plan focused too much on the past, but will be part of the initiative.

    The group, together with the Dutch Doping Authority, announced “a joint approach, which confidence in professional cycling and its credibility again back can win with fans, sponsors, stakeholders and general public.”

    “Openness and honesty is necessary for a change of culture,” the group said in a press release. “Part of the joint approach to arrive at a credible and fair sport is that  active riders, coaches and team management (i.e. all employees of the teams and federation) now in the professional sport are asked  to be open and honest explicitly about the past.”

    Specifically, riders ( and staff) who were banned for longer than 6 months for “a violation of the doping regulations” will not be employed in the future. In addition, all standard contracts will contain a provision stating that “the use of doping substances or methods and other violations of anti-doping rules (such as trading, manipulation and administration of these agents or methods) is punishable by dismissal.”

    All riders and staff members must truthfully complete and sign a “Declaration of Behavior”. Once submitted, the declaration cannot be changed, and if it is discovered that the declaration was not truthful, the person will be dismissed.

    Any doping violations which occurred after January 1, 2008, will lead to immediate dismissal. Earlier violations will incur a less severe...

  • Katusha gets Professional Continental licence from UCI

    Joaquim Rodriguez and Alexandr Kolobnev will lead Katusha in the classics.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 12:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian team still waiting for CAS ruling on WorldTour licence

    The Katusha team has been issued a Professional Continental licence by the UCI.  The troubled Russian team is still awaiting a decision on a WorldTour licence, which it was earlier denied.

    “Yesterday (Monday, ed.) the UCI has officially confirmed the registration of the Russian team Katusha as a Professional Continental team,” the team said on its website. “Having received the second division license Katusha Team is still waiting for the final decision of CAS in order to obtain the UCI World Tour license in 2013.”

    The Professional Continental licence will allow the team to ride in the Tour de San Luis next week in Argentina.

    Katusha was denied the WorldTour licence due to “ethical grounds”, the UCI said in December. The team has applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a ruling on the matter. The court last week turned down the emergency request for a provisional licence, but said that “ hearing will be scheduled shortly in order for a final decision to be issued as quickly as possible.” The hearing is expected to be held later in January.

    Joaquim Rodriguez, who finished the 2012 season atop the UCI WorldTour rankings, has said that he will leave the Katusha team if it does not get a WorldTour licence. Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov has said that the Spaniard must stay with the team until the final decision is made. Rodriguez leaves Spain today to travel to San Luis.

  • UCI reacts to reports that Armstrong could testify against officials

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 12:13 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Governing body calls on Armstrong to testify to Independent Commission

    The UCI has issued a brief statement after a report in the New York Times suggested that Lance Armstrong is ready to testify against "officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, about their involvement with doping in cycling, but he will not testify against other riders."

    The NY Times base the story on "people familiar with his plans" suggesting Armstrong is considering supplying detailed evidence and accusations in an attempt to mitigate his lifetime ban so he can compete in triathlons.

    The UCI did not reply to specific questions from Cyclingnews about the NY Times report, preferring to issue the statement and call on Armstrong to testify to the Independent Commission the UCI has instigated and is funding.

    The terms of reference call on the commission to determine whether the allegations against the UCI set out in the USADA Reasoned Decision are well founded, if the UCI's anti-doping policies were inadequate and if payments were made by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Team to the UCI between 1998 and 2012 and, if so, whether it was appropriate for the UCI to have accepted such payments, or to have accepted them on the basis (explicit or implicit) upon which they were made.

    USADA suggested that the UCI was complicit in the way it dealt with Armstrong, allegedly helping with the covering up a suspect test for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse and accepting donations of a total of $125,000 from Armstrong.

    "The UCI will not be making any further comments on matters concerning Lance Armstrong until it has had the opportunity to view his much...

  • De Kort's springboard to Classics redemption starts with Tour Down Under

    On the deck: Koen de Kort crashed on the descent of the Boignesberg in E3
    Article published:
    January 15, 2013, 13:04 GMT
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Dutchman looking to play a key role in Degenkolb's lead-out

    Koen de Kort (Argos-Shimano) will begin his WorldTour season at the Santos Tour Down Under on Sunday but says that it's some of his teammates who will reap the most benefits of the Dutch-based team's upgraded UCI status.

    The 30-year-old rode mostly top-tier events in 2012 while the team was ProContinental.

    "It makes it a little bit easier working towards the big races," de Kort told Cyclingnews. "For me personally in terms of a program it's probably not going to change too much. I pretty much only did WorldTour races last year anyway. But for a couple of other riders on the team it will be a big difference and give the guys some more chances."

    De Kort kicked off the New Year by riding the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic and like most, used the three-race criterium series dubbed "the world's fastest" to build his intensity following solid pre-season training blocks before heading to Adelaide this week to meet up with his team. The Argos-Shimano roster for the Tour Down Under is a strong one, headed by Marcel Kittel and Stirling stage winner from 2012, new signing Will Clarke. For de Kort, it will mark the first opportunity for the season to work as part of Kittel's lead-out train; something that he feels is where he can add value to the team, especially with John Degenkolb throughout the season.

    "I think last year from the Vuelta onwards I really developed as...