Szczepaniak brothers stripped of medals, issued with heavy bans
Frenchman Arnaud Jouffroy has been officially confirmed as Under-23 World Cyclo-cross Champion following the disqualification of Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak. The brothers have been stripped of their medals and been handed heavy penalties by the Polish Cycling Federation (PZK).
Jouffroy had finished third behind the Polish brothers in the World Championship race on January 30 in Tabor, Czech Republic. On March 11, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced that Pawel, 20, and Kacper, 19, had tested positive for EPO in targeted tests carried out after the event.
Belgium's Tom Meeusen and Poland's Marek Konwa, who finished fourth and fifth respectively, have been installed as the silver and bronze medallists.
The UCI also announced on Friday the bans and fines issued to the Szczepaniak brothers by the PZK as sanction for their offences.
The PZK showed little leniency to the brothers, with Kacper banned from competition for four years. Pawel was dealt with even more severity, banned for eight years. They also received respective fines of 1,680 and 750 euros.
For Pawel Szczepaniak in particular, the ban effectively rules out a professional cyclo-cross career as he will be 28 before he is eligible to return to competition.
Kacper, whose contract with Telenet-Fidea was dissolved following the announcement of his positive test, will be eligible to return at the age of 23.