Race organisers excluded in anti-doping process
Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur does not believe it was up to the organisation to publicise the fact that ONCE-Eroski rider Giampaolo Caruso returned a positive dope test after winning the Willunga Hill stage in 2003.
Caruso tested positive for Nandralone on January 25 and later that year received a six-month suspension and a $2000 fine. He would later be named as part of Operación Puerto but despite Italian Olympic Committee protests, was acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He currently rides for Katusha.
Turtur, also Oceania Cycling Confederation president, has told Adelaide's Sunday Mail, that it was not his responsibility to reveal Caruso's transgression.
"It would have been published on the (International Cycling Union's) UCI website that he was found to be in violation of the code and that's how it's dealt with," Turtur said.
"Race organisers don't go around publicising or advertising or making a point of any doping infringements because it's not their job or their responsibility.
"The organisers manage the race, the UCI manage the sport."
Race officials stripped Caruso of his prize money, with second-place-getter Stefen Wesemann (Telekom) the beneficiary.
Turtur has come under fire for not backing away from his support of Lance Armstrong who became the unofficial face of the Tour Down Under when the American began his return to the sport in Adelaide in 2009. In the wake of Tyler Hamilton's interview with the American 60 Minutes program in 2011 in which he confessed to doping and also claimed that Armstrong had encouraged teammates to use EPO, Turtur was on the front foot.
"If you're saying to me: 'are you sorry that we had Lance Armstrong at the race?' absolutely not," Turtur said to Cyclingnews.
"Why would we be?
"The allegations that are against him [Armstrong] at the moment are made by two people in particular who I believe have no credibility whatsoever... I don't believe anything that Hamilton or Landis says. They can't be believed; they can't be listened to because of what they've done in the past. Until such time as there's 100 percent clear, factual evidence to indicate clearly that there's an issue then I'll listen to that."
Cyclingnews contacted Turtur in the wake of the USADA Reasoned Decision documentation and he would not be drawn on the matter.
In his interview with the Sunday Mail, Turtur also said that he was "pretty certain" that Caruso was the only rider to have produced a positive test at the Tour Down Under.
"I can't see the point in making any other public comment in regard to anything that might happen in that area other than the process taking its natural course with the UCI and the anti-doping agencies," Turtur said.
"The majority of organisers are excluded by that process."
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