Shorts: Tyler, Moser, TDU
Greeks investigate Hamilton fiasco, Moser asks for rider involvement in ProTour talks, TDU latest te
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Greek prosecutors have started investigations into the controversy surrounding the destruction of Olympic time trial champion Tyler Hamilton’s B test blood sample at the Athens Games in August. The investigation is intended to establish whether the sample was deliberately destroyed by being frozen, or whether the action was due to negligence either on the part of the laboratory or of those supplying information to the laboratory. An A sample given by Hamilton following his time trial victory showed indications of blood doping. But the doping inquiry into a possible offence was shelved when it was revealed by the International Olympic Committee that Hamilton’s B sample had been frozen instead of refrigerated by the Athens lab, making any further investigation impossible. – The president of the Association of Professional Cyclists (ACP), Francesco Moser, has written to International Cycling Union (UCI) president Hein Verbruggen to request a greater say for riders in negotiations over the future structure of the ProTour. Moser said in the letter that he was unhappy that the riders would not be represented within the working group that has been established to look into the future framework of cycling’s elite circuit. – Three seasoned peformers will combine with some of Australia’s best young talent in the United Water team at the 2005 Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under. Former Aussie road chapion David McKenzie, a stage winner in the 2000 Giro, heads the team with Panaria’s Scott Davis. The team also boasts 2004 Australian Road Series champion Robert McLachlan. Joining them will be a quintet of young talent: Dave McPartland, who a TDU stage this year, Olympic and world team pursuit champion Peter Dawson, and world junior track medallists Jonathon Clarke, Chris Sutton and Ashley Humbert. The team will be managed by Australian Institute of Sport coach Brian Stephens. – Gerolsteiner’s Austrian sprinter Ren Haselbacher, who is perhaps best known for two bad crashes at the Tour de France, has had another hairy encounter while training in South Africa. While out training with team-mate Peter Wrolich and Barloworld’s David George, Haselbacher was in a head-on collision with a car while on a fast descent. “We were descending when the car approached us head on and I hit it,” said the Austrian. “My new Specialized bike was completely destroyed. But, initially at least, I didn’t feel any pain, and I sent a prayer to God for that. After a few minutes I did feel some pain in my shoulder though and a kindly local drove me to hospital.” Haselbacher was diagnosed with a fractured collar bone and will be off the bike for several weeks. In the meantime, his South African training camp will now become an extended holiday. – International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has cast doubts on the achievements of ‘the Lion of Flanders’, Johan Museeuw, following the Belgian’s suspension by his federation for as yet unspecified doping offences. Rogge, himself a Belgian and interviewed in the Flandrian Het Laatste Nieuws, said of now retired Classics star Museeuw: “His victories will remain on his palmars because he was never caught, but their value can certainly be questioned.” Rogge recently cast doubts on Tyler Hamilton’s Olympic time trial victory in much the same way. – The Belgian press is reporting that Lige, the Walloon city that hosted the start of this year’s Tour de France, is hoping to fulfil the same role for the 2006 Giro d’Italia. The event would reportedly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Belgo-Italian treaty on coal. Representatives from Lige travelled to Milan earlier this week to meet with the Giro’s organisers and discuss the proposal. – Former Team Coast rider Angel Casero has won a case in Valencia demanding the payment of wages still owed to him by the German team that collapsed in the middle of the 2003 season. Casero will be able to claim three months of those wages from financial guarantees lodged in 2003 with the UCI, but any further payments are likely to require the undertaking of additional legal action in Germany.