Following his dismissal by his professional trade team last month, Russian Vladimir Gusev's Olympics dreams were dashed by the Russian cycling federation today when it was announced that he could not compete, according to Reuters.
The four-time Russian time trial champion was scheduled to race in the road race (August 9) and time trial (13). Denis Menchov, who finished fourth in the Tour de France and won the 2007 Vuelta a España, replaced 'Goose' for the time trial. Menchov will also race the road race with Vladimir Efimkin, Vladimir Karpets and Serguei Ivanov – its fifth member is currently unknown.
The Astana Cycling Team announced August 25 the termination of its contract with Gusev as a result of "irregular values" detected by its internal anti-doping programme run by Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard. "Though his results do not indicate the use of forbidden substances, Vladimir's values exceeded the normal parameters established by Dr. Damsgaard and were not compliant with the strict agreement signed by all thirty riders," the team's general manager Johan Bruyneel said the news in a statement.
Gusev expects to take legal actions against Team Astana for "unfounded" allegations.
"It is a tragedy for the athlete, this kind of suspicion. Not just in cycling, but any sport," said the country's federation head, Alexander Gusyatnikov to Reuters. He indicated high-altitude training might have altered Gusev's values. "But all we can do now is wait and follow procedures."
Gusev started his professional carrier with Team CSC in 2004. After signing for Discovery Channel in 2006, his career blossomed with wins in the 2006 Sachen Tour and 2007 Tour of Belgium. Last year, he finished sixth in the Time Trial World Championships.