Adam Stewart has been axed from BikeNZ’s Commonwealth Games squad after being handed a two-year ban for attempting to use prohibited substances. New Zealand’s Sports Tribunal handed down the sentence for Stewart’s attempt to use erythropoietin (EPO) and for possession of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
“We take our team culture and values very seriously as part of the overall development of our athletes,” said BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner. “We have a zero tolerance policy to anyone who waivers from this.
“There’s more to being a professional athlete than just being able to ride a bike fast and we want to develop leadership and responsibility within all who represent us on the world stage,” he added. “Our riders have been part of developing those values and there’s been a buy-in from everyone involved in our program. Adam Stewart knows what he has done has clearly broken that trust.
Stewart left New Zealand two months ago with the sprint squad, who have been training and racing in USA and Europe in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Once advised of the investigation by Drug Free Sport New Zealand, BikeNZ met with Stewart who agreed to leave the squad immediately and return to New Zealand.
“Our organisation from the Board, staff, stakeholders, coaches and Adam’s team-mates are extremely disappointed and feel let down by his actions,” he said. “This is a young man who has made a very silly mistake and he therefore must pay the consequences of his actions.”
A decision as to whether Stewart’s place in the team will be awarded to another rider or be filled by an existing rider in the team is yet to be made.
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