Australian track cyclist Mark French, whose allegations that other Australian Institute of Sport riders used his room at the AIS to inject themselves caused a storm of controversy in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games, plans to attempt to gain a spot in Australia's team for the Commonwealth games.
French, who was eventually cleared of charges of using and trafficking in banned substances, will try to set a qualifying time of 10.55 seconds for the flying 200m during the Sid Patterson Grand Prix at the Darebin International Sports Centre on Saturday January 21.
It will be French's first race since the discovery in his room at the AIS facility in Adelaide, Australia of a bucket containing used syringes, vials of equine growth hormone (eGH) and a homeopathic preparation called Testicomp led to him receiving a two-year suspension from cycling and a life ban from Olympic competition. The Court of Arbitration for Sport eventually found there was insufficient evidence that French had used eGH and that Testicomp, being a homeopathic preparation, actually did not contain banned corticosteroid, despite the claims on the product's label.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, another Australian sprinter, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Bayley, will also be trying to turn in a Commonwealth Games qualifying performance this weekend. The Commonwealth Games cycling team requires the sprint riders to record a time of 10.55 seconds for the flying 200 metres before 1 February 2006.
The Sid Patterson Grand Prix meeting will also include a keirin and sprint derby featuring French and current Australian keirin champion, Joel Leonard, among other races. Other competitors include Commonwealth Games cyclists from England, Scotland and New Zealand
For more information see www.vic.cycling.org.au
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Australian doping allegations & Mark French's comeback
January 26, 2006: Mark French in last-minute qualifier
January 21, 2006: Mark French misses Commonwealth Games qualification time - just
January 18, 2006: Mark French returns
July 12, 2005: Mark French cleared
November 18, 2004: Anderson report clears all but French
August 13, 2004: Dajka loses final bid
August 4, 2004: Witch hunting in the 21st century, part 2
August 3, 2004: Dajka appeal will be heard
August 2, 2004: Dajka misses deadline to appeal
July 30, 2004: Kersten in, Dajka out of Australian Olympic squad
July 29, 2004: Dajka's spot in Athens squad faces new threat, Selective leaks or reporting designed to defame?, Growth hormone test is go
July 29, 2004: Dajka's spot in Athens squad faces new threat
July 21, 2004: Australian Olympic Committee selects Eadie and Kersten
July 19, 2004: Eadie wins appeal
July 19, 2004: Eadie considers legal action
July 16, 2004: Dajka cleared by Customs
July 14, 2004: Eadie out, Kersten in, pending appeal
July 13, 2004: Eadie lodges appeal
July 12, 2004: Eadie hit with doping notice - from 1999; French saga rolls on
July 10, 2004: AOC 'withholds' Dajka from Australian Olympic team
July 9, 2004: Pound comments 'ill-informed', says ASC
July 2, 2004: Anderson report clears named riders; full Australian Olympics cycling team nominations
July 1, 2004: The high cost of controversy
June 26, 2004: Accused rider hits back: 'I was never in Adelaide'
June 25, 2004: One week for French inquiry
June 24, 2004: Mark French makes statement
June 23, 2004: Pound weighs in
June 22, 2004: Cycling Australia welcomes inquiry; Riders deny involvement in doping
June 22, 2004: French gets life, but still offers to assist new enquiry
June 21, 2004: Lifetime Olympic ban for French
June 19, 2004: French faces blowtorch from sports authorities
June 18, 2004: Opposition calls for inquiry into AIS track cycling program
June 9, 2004: French suspended two years
June 1, 2004: Horse hormones found in French's room