WADA suspends South African laboratory
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of South African Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein until September 30, 2016.
WADA do not state a specific reason for the suspension but state that the laboratory must address “all non-conformities identified in its External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) program and any other non-conformities identified in the course of WADA site visits during the suspension period.” If these issues are not addressed, then the suspension could go beyond the September 30 date.
The suspension will take place with immediate effect and means that the laboratory will not be able to analyse any samples taken. There are 34 accredited laboratories around the world but the Bloemfontein lab is the only one on the African continent. It is likely that samples will now have to be flown to Europe to be tested.
“This monitoring process is conducted in conjunction with ISO assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC),” the WADA statement said. “Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may suspend the laboratory’s accreditation.”
In April, WADA suspended two other labs in Beijing and Lisbon while the laboratory in Moscow had its accreditation revoked. The Bloemfontein laboratory has 21 days to appeal the suspension of their licence.
Dutch lottery looking to extend with LottoNL-Jumbo
The Dutch state lottery is looking to add two more years to its sponsorship deal with the LottoNL-Jumbo team, according to De Telegraaf. The newspaper also reports that secondary sponsor Jumbo wants to remain with the team, ensuring their place in the peloton until 2018.
However, it will be with a slightly reduced budget with Lotto cutting their investment from 5.3 to 4.5 million.
The Lottery and supermarket chain Jumbo stepped in to sponsor the team after Belkin exercised a clause in their contract and pulled out unexpectedly at the end of 2014. Securing another two years of sponsorship will be key for the team whose star rider Sep Vanmarcke is out of contract at the end of this season.
Van Aert targeting Belgian road race title
Not content with his cyclo-cross world title, Wout Van Aert has now set his sights on the Belgian national road race title. Van Aert won his cyclo-cross title in January, beating Dutchman Lars van der Haar.
"The course suits me," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "It’s not too easy and has a gently uphill finish. Why would I not aim for it?"
The Belgian championships will take place at the Eau d'Heure lakes near Cerfontaine, with Preben Van Hecke the defending champion. Van Aert, who is currently training in Mallorca, is realistic about his chances.
"I'm not saying I will be Belgian champion, but I believe I stand a chance," he said. "It is also an object without stress. I have not proven on the road, so I have nothing to lose."
Van Aert will ride the Baloise Belgium Tour, the Ster ZLM Toer, and Halle Ingooigem in the build-up to the championships.
Edmondson hopeful of returning to professional ranks
After an aggressive showing at last weekend’s Tour de Yorkshire, Josh Edmondson (NFTO) remains hopeful of returning to WorldTour level in the future. Edmondson was involved in breaks during two of the three stages but failed to stay away.
Edmondson turned professional with Team Sky back in 2013 but was dropped from the squad when his contract ran out. He eventually secured a spot with the An Post-Chainreaction for the 2015 season last March and is now racing with NFTO.
After the disappointment of being dropped from Team Sky, the 23-year-old is driven to climb back up the ladder.
“I still feel there’s a grand tour team out there for me,” Edmondson told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “This year I want to prove that I’m much more capable now than I was back then, that I’m a better rider.
“I feel as though I’m improving each year. I’m still only 23, so I’m far from past it. I’ve been getting better every year and this year I’m stronger than ever. I just love racing, and what happened at Sky drives me on.”