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CSC team doctor sees less doping in cycling now

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Cycling News
Published:
April 02, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:24 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News, April 2, 2008

There is less doping usage in the peloton now, but the problem will never be eliminated, according...

There is less doping usage in the peloton now, but the problem will never be eliminated, according to Joost De Maeseneer, team doctor with Team CSC. In an interview with the belga press agency, he noted that, "Doping will never go away entirely. First there were the amphetamines, then the anabolic steroids, followed by EPO and now blood doping. You can be certain that there will be something new; genetic doping, for example. I can only hope that it stays away a long time, so that we will be armed against it."

Increased out-of-competition controls have been successful, he said. "The chance of being caught is much larger, and as a result, the peloton has become cleaner. A few years ago, someone like Greg Avermaet would have had no chance as a 22 year-old in a race like the E3 Prijs." The doctor added, though, "I'm not saying that they have all become saints. We hope that those who aren't clean will be caught."

De Maessener said that uniform controls are needed. "Let's take Flanders as an example. The Vlaamse Gemeenschap, the courts, the Belgian federation, the UCI, the World Anti-doping agency: all of them can do doping controls."

The Belgian doctor would give some riders a second chance. "I would divide the 'doping sinners' into two groups. I don't find it possible that Basso, who personally betrayed me, should be suspended for life, when there are riders here in De Panne who have never been punished but have more to hide."

Some of the undeserving riders include Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin, retired and/or suspended. "With a smile," they signed the UCI's "Commitment to a new cycling", in which they pledged not to "commit any infringement to the UCI anti-doping rules". Both were later tested positive for blood-doping, Vinokourov during the Tour and Kashechkin shortly thereafter.

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