Stef Clement of IAM Cycling feared a two-year suspension after being late to a doping control after stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia. The Dutch rider lost time due to a severe crash on the final descent, and later was held up by fans blocking the way.
It was another rainy day in Italy, and the descent of the Crosara, in the last 30 kilometres,was especially dangerous. Several riders were injured badly enough in crashes on the wet road that they had to leave the race.
Clement came down heavily on his left elbow and hip, but managed to get back on his bike and finish the race in the grupetto. He finally crossed the finish line 17:21 after the winner, but it was not the end of his problems, as fans blocked the way.
Thierry Marichal, directeur sportif, said, "The last riders were hijacked by the crowds even before they could start the final ascent. The security service was unable to contain the exuberant fans on the road. This was a bit of a problem for us since Stef Clement was called to the doping control at the finish. We had to help him elbow through with a car in order to get him to the doping control tent in time so that they could test him."
It wasn't enough and he missed the test. Clement tweeted that because of the blocked finish and crowded coach parking, "I was far too late to anti-doping tests. Wet, cold and dirty wounds. Risking 2 years suspension."
He later said, "Have now done the control and given my explanation. Now hoping for some leniency from the authorities. Extreme conditions, seems to me."
The rider visited the doping control before going to paramedics to have his wounds tended to. Clement is still suffering from the injuries sustained but he has decided to race. "I'm a little bit stiff and a little bit tired because it was a short night but I slept and I got back on my feet so I'm preparing to race again today," he explained. "I have a fairly bruised hip and the elbow is bruised and that’s about but they're deep wounds and they have a lot of moisture in them. I will start and maybe cycling will improve the healing."
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