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Perkins awaiting disciplinary ruling

Shane Perkins competing in the US last year.

Shane Perkins competing in the US last year. (Image credit: Mitch Friedman)

Emerging Australian track sprinter, Shane Perkins, will spend a pensive week awaiting the decision of a disciplinary tribunal of Cycling Australia (CA) where he was called to explain an incident that is said to have occurred in an Adelaide nightclub on Saturday, May 26.

It's understood that the incident may result in a code of conduct violation for the young rider, who is emerging as one of the key men in Australia's track cycling sprint squad. Perkins is a scholarship holder with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and central to that support program is its code of conduct policy.

The tribunal of barrister and CA board member Klaus Mueller, Warwick Forbes and Mark Fulcher met for three and half hours on Tuesday, June 5, and it is expected to announce a decision by the end of this week, according to CA's chief executive office, Graham Fredericks.

If any charges are upheld against the rider, he could lose his AIS scholarship and in turn this could affect his chances of representing Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Perkins represented Australia at the senior world track cycling championships in Majorca this year, where Australia failed to qualify for the team sprint, as well as at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, where he won two bronze medals.

In 2004, Perkins was suspended for six months after he tested positive for methamphetamine due to a nasal inhaler he purchased while in Los Angeles for the World Junior Tracy Cycling Championships. Perkins used the inhaler on the night he defeated compatriot Daniel Thorsen, Francesco Kanda (Italy) and Ryan Nelman (USA) to win the Keirin.

Perkins' case was heard in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Court took into account extenuating circumstances in that Perkins had inadvertently used a stimulant. "In America Perkins purchased a nasal inhaler of the same brand he regularly uses in Australia without realising it contained a different active ingredient, namely methamphetamine, which is on the banned list," said Cycling Australia in a statement.

Although Perkins tested positive in the Keirin, a subsequent test two days later after he won the Sprint was negative. Perkins' suspension ran for six months, starting from November 16, 2004.

In an interview with Cyclingnews in 2005, Perkins said of life at the AIS training base in Adelaide, where he moved from his home state of Victoria in 2005, "You're living with these people and sometimes little things come up, but at the end of the day you have a laugh and get over it."

Meanwhile, the program goes on. Today in Adelaide there will be a media and industry function to celebrate the career - so far - of Australian sprinter and world record holder, Anna Meares, while national sprint coach Martin Barras will also outline his plans for the squad in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.

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