Shorts: QS, Dajka, Freire, Ribeiro

Quick Step announce their Tour squad, Dajka suspended after assaulting Australian track coach, Freir

Quick Step announce their Tour squad, Dajka suspended after assaulting Australian track coach, Freir


Quick Step have announced their 10-rider squad for the Tour de France. The team leaders are Tom Boonen and Michael Rogers, with one of Patrik Sinkewitz, Wilfried Cretskens, Kevin Hulsmans, Servais Knaven, Bram Tankink, Guido Trenti, Rik Verbrugghe and Stefano Zanini set to miss out.

- A Cycling Australia disciplinary tribunal has imposed a three-year suspension on Jobie Dajka after determining that the track sprinter had assaulted head track coach Martin Barras last week at the High Performance Program offices in Adelaide. The suspension takes effect from today. The Tribunal took into account medical evidence relating to Dajka's state of mental health and, as a result of this, have determined that he may apply to have the penalty suspended and reapply for his Cycling Australia licence after one year pending several conditions.

Those conditions are that he seek immediate treatment on such terms as his medical practitioners prescribe and that such treatment include a course in anger management. At the end of such treatment a report is to be provided to Cycling Australia by medical practitioners of the treatment or programmes undertaken by Dajka certifying his rehabilitation has been satisfactorily completed and that his return to the sport will not endanger the safety of coaches, officials or team members. Dajka will also be required to undertake 80 hours of community service for the sport of cycling speaking about his experiences, the difficulties he has faced and the lessons he has learned.

"The tribunal has acknowledged, as do Cycling Australia, that the health of Mr Dajka is a serious concern and must be addressed," said Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks. "However we have a responsibility to safeguard the well being of all the athletes and staff involved with the Program and Mr Dajka's behaviour was unacceptable. We sincerely hope this young man gets the help he needs but until he does it is obvious that he should avoid the stress and pressure associated with elite competition."

Dajka's adviser, Kerry Ruffels, said he was pleased with the decision of the tribunal. "It allows Jobie to regain full health both physically and mentally whilst at the same time allowing him the opportunity to fulfil his dream of representing Australia again," said Ruffels. "He accepts that his actions were totally inappropriate and that statements he made in the wake of last week's hearing were wrong and irrational. He has also extended an apology to Martin Barras and to the officials of Cycling Australia for his actions."

- Oscar Freire has pulled out of Rabobank's squad for the Tour de France due to continuing problems with the pelvis injury that has plagued him over the past couple of months. "The pain increases daily. Oscar can find no solution to the problem. He's going to return to Holland to undergo further medical tests," said Rabobank directeur Erik Breukink. Freire will not start today's sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

- Former pro Eric Boyer, who has been working with French TV for the last few seasons, has been appointed to the post of Cofidis team manager that has been vacant since Alain Bondue was released last year. Boyer will work with head directeur sportif Francis Van Londersele and administrative director Franck Trajber to continue the rebuilding of the French team following the doping-related problems that seriously affected it last season.

- Nuno Ribeiro, who was released from his contract with the Liberty Seguros team last month after registering an elevated red blood cell count prior to the Giro, has signed with the Portuguese LA Aluminios that is co-sponsored by. Liberty Seguros. Ribeiro won the 2003 Tour of Portugal for the LA Aluminios team and has signed until the end of this season.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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