The latest transfer news for 2006. Sutherland sacked and Capelle suspended. And professional cycling
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM The season’s not over yet, but still it’s the busiest period of the year for transfer news. The latest moves include Quick Step-Innergetic who, after Wednesday’s announcement that they had signed Cedric Vasseur from Cofidis, have added the Dutchmen Steven de Jongh and Remmert Wielinga, both from Rabobank, to their ’06 roster. At T-Mobile, the 2006 roster has been completed with the signing of current U23 road race European champion Frantisek Rabon of the Czech Republic. The 22 year old joins 11 other new signings to the German squad, which include time trial world road race champion Michael Rogers from Quick Step, team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz and Luxemburger Kim Kirchen from Fassa Bortolo. In France, Fabien Sanchez will leave Francaise des Jeux at the end of the year to take up a one-year contract with French rivals Cofidis, while winner of the green jersey competition in this year’s Tour de France, Thor Hushovd, has signed for another three years with Credit Agricole, with team-mate, American Saul Raisin, also extending his contract until 2008 with the French squad. – In other news, besides losing Wielenga and De Jongh to Quick Step [see above], Dutch squad Rabobank have sacked Australian Rory Sutherland after he tested positive for an as-yet unnamed substance at the Tour of Germany in August. Analysis of the B-sample confirmed the initial positive test. Former Belgian national champion Ludovic Capelle has been suspended for 18 months by the Flemish Community’s disciplinary commission after testing positive for EPO in June. Capelle will now meet with the management of his Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team to hear whether he will be sacked, but may yet appeal his suspension at the Court for Arbitration in Sport. – Market researchers Ipsos’ recent survey has revealed that professional cycling’s credibility is far from recovered since the Festina affair of 1998, with the subsequent cases of, and accusations of, doping doing nothing to allay fears that the sport remains heavily affected by the use of performance-enhancing drugs, more than seven years down the line from the problems having been brought to public attention. French sports newspaper L’Equipe’s part-publication of Ipsos’ results of the survey on Wednesday reveals that 79 per cent of the public questioned in Germany, France, Spain and Italy associated cycling with doping. In France, however, that figure was a massive 97 per cent – although clearly the general consensus is one of resignation to the facts if the roadside crowds at the Tour each summer are anything to go by.