Franck Bouyer, professional cyclist with French ProTeam Bouygues Telecom, has to stop his 2006 season before it really begins. Suffering from narcolepsy, a condition resulting in sudden sleep attacks, the 31 year-old needs to take a medication to cure the illness, but this particular drug happens to be listed as a performance-enhancing substance: modafinil. In August 2005, the World Anti-Doping Agency authorized Bouyer to compete again after having been sidelined since June 2004.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has now validated an appeal against WADA's decision, which was issued by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in autumn last year. "They are asking me to pass VO2 max tests with a different protocol," Bouyer told L'Equipe, which added that the rider had passed the examinations several times already. "The experts told me that there won't be any problems after that anymore. But they've been telling me this for more than two years now..."
The Frenchman will thus return to Switzerland at the end of March for further testing and try to prove once more that the intake of two doses (pills) of Modiodal per day does not increase his performance. Bouyer still hopes that an authorisation to use the drug for therapeutic reasons will be delivered to him, and that this decision will be final.