January 23, 2008
A roundup of the latest dopage du jour… you don’t want to miss out on Eddy’s wait for justice, Totschnig’s plea for a fair go after being implicated in the as-yet unproved Viennese blood bank ‘scandal’, Davis’s painful search for a team after, again, implication in something he was not involved in, and more…. all the links go to recent articles by Cyclingnews.com. Opinions are mine.
- Guilty as charged, Mazzoleni waits The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) released a statement on Tuesday calling for Eddy Mazzoleni to serve a two-year ban for his involvement in the ‘Oil for drugs’ scandal. The charges against Mazzoleni relate to SMS messages sent to Italian doctor Carlo Santuccione in 2004, said to contain requests for banned substances and treatments. The Italian cycling federation will now decide whether to accept CONI’s recommended sanction for the 34 year-old Italian.
- Implicated but innocent, Totschnig sues Georg Totschnig will sue the German television station ARD for libel and defamation for its broadcast earlier this month claiming he was a blood-doping client at the Viennese blood bank “Humanplasma”, even though he knows that “the damage can’t be mended.”.
- Implicated, innocent and out of a job: Davis struggles after cleared Former Discovery Channel rider Allan Davis is reported to be getting high-ranked support out of the International Cycling Union (UCI) in his search for a new team. Davis, who got caught up in the Operación Puerto scandal in 2006, was cleared of any charges before signing with the American team for the 2007 season. Despite good racing results last year, the Australian sprinter has nevertheless not been able to find a new squad for 2008, as his reputation is heavily tainted since his name was mentioned in the Spanish doping affair.
- Computers pitch in to help make things better With the ProTour season ready to start in Australia at the Tour Down Under this January, the UCI’s latest anti-doping tool, the biological passport, is also set to hopefully make 2008 one of the cleanest cycling years ever. One key element to the increased out-of-competition tests (7000 tests in 2008 as compared to 1000 last year) is the introduction of a reliable riders’ whereabouts system, the ADAMS computer system (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System).
- Basso actually happy to be suspended, so why did he wait so long? Being suspended “was the best thing that could have happened to me,” said Ivan Basso, whose career as a pro cyclist is currently on hold. “It gave me time to reflect and it has turned my life around.” The Italian was given a two-year ban for his involvement in Operación Puerto.
- And the source of recent dramas, German TV backs down over Viennese blood bank claims German television station ARD has retracted its charges that four pro cyclists and unnamed German skiers and biathletes were involved in illegal doping at the Viennese blood center, “Human Plasma”. Before Thursday afternoon’s broadcast of a biathlon race, a moderator said, “It is not justified and not compatible with our professional standards, that such sweeping charges be made without having any evidence to back them up. We regret that accusations and suspicions against athletes arose because of this report.”
- Who knows what else may happen in 2008? I suspect there’s loads more to come with too many unanswered questions lingering in the air.