Sadly it appears cycling isn’t safe from doping in any form.
The Fédération Franςaise de Cyclisme (FFC), the French equivalent of British Cycling have released a statement saying that an Enduro rider has received a six-month ban following a doping violation.
They detected the prohibited substance hydrochlorothiazide, a masking agent following a urine test. The drug is not performance enhancing in itself, but could be used to mask the use of other drugs.
The doping took place at the Megavalanche event on 26th November 2011 in St Paul (Reunion) and the result established on 20th December 2011. It took until May 2012 for the report to be made and conveniently took until 6th September 2012 for action to be taken. Thus the racer has been allowed to race a full season following the doping coming to light.
It’s a shame this took so long to come to light, heightening the scandel. They have said they will also strip the rider of all medals, prizes and points. But the rider remains anonymous for the time being.
The ban will take place 20th September 2012 until 20th March 2013. So the rider wont be able to compete in the off season. Oh, poor them, I’m sure that’ll have a big impact.
Shouldn’t we be following road cycling’s lead here!? Not naming the rider involved seems cowardly. Name them. Shame them. And send a clear message that this is not acceptable in our, or indeed any sport. This behaviour sends the message that you can dope, and get away with it, because we’d rather brush it under the carpet.
I’m sure we’ll see a fair few comments and arguments on this through Facebook/Twitter and various forums. But for this reporter, it’s quite simply just unacceptable behaviour on all fronts.
You can (if you read French) read the full press release here.