Shorts: Cofidis trial; Langkawi; Recycling.co.uk
Seven riders and three others face court today in France over the Cofidis doping affair.
Millar in court with seven others as Cofidis affair goes to trial David Millar faces court in Nanterre, France today along with nine other current and former Cofidis riders and staff. The ten are accused of involvement in doping at the team, with three former team staffers accused of supplying doping products, and the seven riders facing lesser charges of “acquiring and holding banned substances.” Former Cofidis physiotherapist Boguslaw Madejak is at the heart of the case, which rests on intercepts of phone conversations between him and two Cofidis riders in which investigators allege they discussed doping substances. In January 2004, French authorities intercepted one of the riders, Marek Rutkiewicz on his return from Poland, and found seven vials of EPO. Rutkiewicz claimed he had obtained the drug from Madejak’s father. A former Cofidis mechanic and a pharmacist are also involved, along with riders Robert Sassone, Mederic Clain, Philippe Gaumont, Daniel Majewski, Massimiliano Lelli and Millar. The trial is expected to last a week and the defendants face up to five years in prison and fines of €75,000 (US$95,200), though it’s unusual for such severe sentences to be handed down to riders in these case. Court officials have already stated that they consider the riders “at once the beneficiaries and the victims” in the case. More at The Herald and the International Herald Tribune. Malaysian federation takes over Tour de Langkawi The organisation of the 2007 edition of the troubled Tour de Langkawi is entirely in the hands of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF), according to the New Straits Times. The MNCF council decided to take control of the race in a five-hour meeting Sunday. The Tour de Langkawi, which has traditionally been one of the richest on the calendar, has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the Malaysian media over the last few months regarding its financial problems. A new organisation – Red Revolution – was appointed to run the 2007 edition and immediately ran into controversy over the involvement of former race director Simon Donellan. MNCF president Abu Samah Wahab said that Red Revolution had not been given the official go-ahead to organise the race. “There has been correspondence, but there has not been any official agreement that binds us with the company,” he said. Members of the MNCF council will take up roles they are capable of, and the executive committee will appoint consultants and contractors to assist in other areas. Recycling.co.uk team focuses on youngsters for 2007 British Continental team recycling.co.uk plans to adopt a role as a development team in 2007 and aim to continue to groom young riders for future success, team management said in an announcement today. “The emphasis for 2007 will be on developing some even younger riders so they too benefit from the team’s experienced staff and can move up towards a future continental career,” said the team. Current team rider Kristian House is considering several options with larger teams for 2007, and 22-year-old Ben Greenwood has been racing in Italy for the GB Olympic Academy team this year and has been snapped up by an Italian team. The 2007 team will retain former world champion and Commonwealth Gold and Olympic track medallist Chris Newton who will lead the team along with another experienced international rider and mentor the team’s planned roster of young riders. For more see, www.recyclingteam.co.uk. Time recalls pedals Pedal manufacturer Time Sport International is recalling several models of its road bike clipless pedals. The affected models are RXS Titan Carbon, RXS Carbon, RXS and RXE (black or grey pedal body) sold between October 2004 and July 2006. The white pedal body RXS World Champion is not affected by this recall, nor are pedals that have a gold dot on the underside of the pedal body just inside where the bearing cap is mounted to the pedal body. 2007 model pedals that do not have the racing clip are also not subject to this recall. After eight incidents in which riders sustained minor injuries, Time has found that the pedal’s bearing cap can unscrew from the pedal body, allowing the body to separate from the axle. For full details of the recall, see the website of UK importer RJ Chicken. US readers should check out the details at Time Sport USA.