David Kopp said that the International Cycling Union has extended his doping ban until September 10, 2010, putting a temporary stop to his return to racing this season.
The Flemish cycling federation had first suspended him until December 31, 2009, after which he signed a contract for the 2010 season with the German Continental Team Kuota-Indeland. The Flemish federation later extended its ban, which applies only in Belgium, until September at the urging of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The UCI has now adopted the suspension, which applies worldwide. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani confirmed to Cyclingnews that it “has accepted the Flemish decision on David Kopp.”
Kopp tested positive for cocaine in September 2008 at a Belgian national race while riding for Team Cycle Collstrop. He claimed that he had not purposefully taken the drug, but that his drink must have been spiked at a disco two nights earlier. However, he did not deny or fight the positive results, and accepted the suspension.
After serving his one-year ban, Kopp signed for this season with the German Continental Team Kuota-Indeland. Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency said that it had appealed the one-year suspension to the UCI, and asked that it be extended to two years. According to Kopp, his team received a fax over the weekend from the UCI concerning the ban, but he had not heard anything directly.
“I am very disappointed,” Kopp told Radsport-News.com. “First the UCI give me an unlimited licence for the 2010 season after my one-year-suspension ended, and let me train and ride races. And not four months later they change their mind and tear me out of the team, without any new findings. That is inhuman.”
The 30-year-old German said that he planned to return the end of the season. “I will continue to train and prepare myself for the last races of the season, like the Münsterland Giro.” Kopp assumed that Kuota-Indeland would take him back. “The team supports me, and I am really thankful for that.”