Shorts: Quick Step, Clain

Quick Step get comfortable with their new co-sponsor, Clain free to ride again after his suspension

Quick Step get comfortable with their new co-sponsor, Clain free to ride again after his suspension
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Quick Step have announced a new co-sponsor for next season, or at least more precisely an old sponsor that is committing more money under a new name. The company concerned is mattress manufacturer Latexco, who have been backing teams Quick Step boss Patrick Lefvre has been associated with since 1994. Taking advantage of the departure of this year's Quick Step co-sponsor Davitamon, Latexco are upping their investment in order to promote their Innergetic brand. Quick Step are hoping to attract another co-sponsor that would enable them to achieve their budgetary target for next season of 9.5 million euros. - Sacked Cofidis rider Mdric Clain has had his suspension for "infraction of the legislation on poisonous and dangerous substances" dropped by the disciplinary commission of the French Cycling Federation (FFC). Clain appeared before the six-member commission two weeks ago and repeated a previous admission that he had bought EPO and human growth hormone from Kazakh rider Oleg Kozlitine. "I bought and transported the products but I never used them," Clain told L'Equipe after his suspension was lifted. "I am happy that my honesty has been recognised. If a team is looking for a clean rider, I am ready." However, the FFC disciplinary commission's decision flies in the face of signed witness statements given to the Nanterre doping inquiry by Clain's former Cofidis team-mates Philippe Gaumont and Robert Sassone, who said they had doped themselves with Clain during the 2003 season. However, the FFC's commission did not have access to this information and consequently could not take it into account. The impression that this might not be the end of this matter for Clain was underlined by comments made by FFC legal representative Christophe Lavergne to L'Equipe. "We need to know why this suspension has been dropped, and once the FFC has been made aware in writing by the disciplinary commission, which is independent, of this decision we reserve the right to appeal against it at the FFC's federal council or at the Court for Arbitration in Sport." With Clain's suspension lifted, Britain's David Millar is now the only rider involved in the Cofidis affair who is currently under suspension. Gaumont and Sassone have yet to appear before the FFC's disciplinary commission.
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