Thursday, May 27, 2010

UCI to Investigate Landis Claims: and Local Bike Rides in June

May 27, 2010 
The organization that governs international bicycle racing yesterday announced that they will be opening an inquiry into doping allegations made by Floyd Landis.

In a press release, the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed that it requested the respective National Federations to carry out inquiries into the accusations made by Landis against their license-holders, namely Cycling Australia (Matthew White), Royal Belgian Cycling League (Johan Bruyneel), Canadian Cycling Association (Michael Barry) and the French Cycling Federation (John Lelangue).

An inquiry has also already been opened by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regarding fellow racers of Mr. Landis whom he accused of doping, including Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Jim Ochowicz and David Zabriskie.

In their statement, the UCI said their inquiry "is aimed at establishing, in an objective manner, whether or not events potentially constituting a breach of the Anti-Doping Rules occurred. This does not in any way imply that the UCI considers the allegations made by Mr Landis to have any basis."

The group did not provide any details as to how their investigation would proceed.

Part of Landis' allegation included a claim that the UCI and the World Anti Doping Agency had concealed test results of cyclists in competition. 

A previous statement by the UCI on May 25 said,  "Since 1st January 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) receives a copy of any analysis reports which show an abnormal result. WADA has not reported any abnormal analyses from any of its accredited laboratories that have not been duly dealt with by the UCI. The UCI wishes to reassert the total transparency of its anti-doping testing and categorically rejects any suspicion in relation to the concealment of results from parties involved in this field."

The USADA's CEO Travis T. Tygart also issued a statement saying that they would be looking into the allegations by Landis. But he added, "It is important to re-emphasize USADA’s position that all athletes  are innocent until and unless proven otherwise through the established legal process. Attempts to sensationalize or exploit either the process or the athletes are a disservice to fair play, due process, and to those who love clean sport."

The organization would not comment and further on the investigation, including how it would be conducted. 

And for brighter thoughts on cycling, locally, several big rides are coming up and wanted to be mentioned on the bike blog . 

On Sunday, May 30th, the Major Taylor Bike Club will be taking a group up from New York City to the Conklin Orchards and back, an 87-mile ride.  The start time is at 7:00am from Grand Army Plaxa in Brookluyn, 8:30 am from Fort Lee, NJ at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge (to beat the heat) and supposedly ends at 10:30 am, but I think that end time is for when you reach Conklin. You can get to the Major Taylor Bike Club through Facebook. It's a nice hilly ride after you get through Nyack, and I can promise you the hills coming back will be worse than the hills going.

One on June 6th, is the  Bergen County Bicycle Tour which travels through as many as 18 towns such as Paramus, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Midland Park, Waldwick, Franklin Lakes, Mahwah, Ramsey, Allendale, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake and Ho-Ho-Kus.

The ride features four different categories, one that covers families and children.  Ted Semegran who is an active cycling advocate in New Jersey is helping run the tour this year which is hosted by the Bicycle Touring Club Of North Jersey (BTCNJ).

The ride is co-sponsored by Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, Bergen Community College and the New Jersey Bicycle Coalition. Riders can do the 45 mile, 25 mile, 12 or 5 mile rides, with the longest ride starting at 8 am. The entrance fee is $10 and proceeds go to the Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon.

 Also on June 19 Glen Goldstein will be hosting his annual ride to Montauk, with ride distances ranging from 30 miles to 145 miles, and the promise of beer and hot showers when you arrive at the final destination (no mention of a free swim in the ocean though which is the reason most people want to ride to Montauk.)  Children as young as 12 can do the ride, and prices range from $79 to $250, though children under 12 ride for free.  Transportation back to the city is included in the price, and Glen says that volunteers can travel for free, or if you get a friend to drive, you ride free. Sounds like a deal, though not for your poor friend. Prices go up in 10 days, so get moving!

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