Bo Hamburger could miss out on a ride in Athens on the recommendation of his own federation.
Despite having qualified, Bo Hamburger looks unlikely to be part of the Danish squad for this summer’s Olympic Games upon the Danish cycling federation’s (DCU) recommendation. Hamburger recorded “unnaturally high” haematocrit levels in a test after last year’s world championships in Hamilton, Canada, which has prompted DCU president Peder Pedersen to advise the Danish sports federation (DIF) not to send the Acqua e Sapone rider to Athens in August. “The high levels have been judged by both Danish and foreign medical experts as being more than just an indication of EPO use,” Pedersen said. “It feels like I’m fighting against an enemy I can’t see. I’m defending myself in a case that shouldn’t be a case,” said Hamburger, who is still hopeful that the DIF will overrule the DCU, although that happening seems quite unlikely. “It’s very rare for the DIF to go against a decision made by one of our member federations,” DIF spokesman Morten Molholm said. Molholm did make it clear, however, that no final decision will be made before a meeting to discuss Hamburger’s case this week. The Italy-based pro’s wife, Sanne Hamburger, said: “It reminds me more and more of a Danish Pantani case. Just think what effect this kind of thing has on a family. Think of our children.” The DCU say that Hamburger has never tried to explain the high haematocrit levels, and it is for that reason that they want to exclude him from the Olympic squad. “But we have never had access to Bo’s information,” Mrs Hamburger said. “We haven’t had any way of defending ourselves.” It is not the first time that Hamburger has had problems with the Danish federation. In 2001, he faced a lifetime ban from the DCU under suspicion of EPO usage, but was acquitted when one of the two B-samples, used to confirm or otherwise an initial positive test, did not match the other.