The Week That Was...

News & Results

06/24/2003| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian Melvin comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Winner of the World Cup in 1994 and the Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2001, Giancarlo Bortolami, has tested positive for cortisone on the 2nd April.  The test was conducted whilst Bortolami was competing in the Driedaagse van De Panne; an event in which he won a stage and held the lead until the final time trial.  The Italian Federation has since hit Bortolami with a six-month suspension from all competition, which is due to finish on 29th October.  "The doping test after my victory on the first stage was negative.  Then the next day I was controlled again as the leader and then it went wrong.  I knew there would be another control that day so I would have been very stupid to take a substance that is only allowed under doctors orders" stated the Italian.  And his explanation?  "I think that something must have been put in my food" .  Yeah, and maybe Rumsas is innocent as well! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


Speaking of Rumsas, a report prepared for the investigation into the 'Edita Rumsas - car full of dope for my mother' investigation has confirmed two pieces of information which most people had already suspected: firstly, Edita's Mother's medical condition at that time didn't call for the use of any of the substances discovered and secondly, the seized quantities correspond to the treatments required by a single rider!  Well, I wonder whom they could have been for?


Following the exclusion of his team from this years Tour, reports in
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Italy
last week suggested that Marco Pantani had checked in to Abano Terme, a treatment centre for depression and substance abuse in
Italy
.  Although his team, Mercatone-Uno, rigorously denied this at first, Pantani's manager, Manuela Ronchi, later confirmed that he had indeed checked in and that "it is a problem of a private matter" .


The team of the other Italian to be missing from this year's Tour de France, Domina Vacanze, is appealing to the UCI over its exclusion.  The Italians have threatened to take legal action against ASO, organizers of the event, if their appeal is not successful.


Whilst most riders are fine-tuning their form prior to the Tour, for a small group of riders, July will be spent watching the race on the TV as recent crashes take their toll.  Team Telekom's Cadel Evans has confirmed that he'll be missing after breaking his collarbone two weeks ago.  Evans confirmed that he'll now "refocus on the Tour of

Spain
in September and then the World Championships" .  Another rider breaking their collarbone was talented Russian Serguei Ivanov of Fassa Bartolo who came down in the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse.  Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Davitamon) came down on Tuesday whilst out training.  Boonen hit a pothole and was catapulted over his handlebars and will now be out of competition for between 4 to 6 weeks.  Finally, Jacky 'dudu' Durand completed this unhappy quintet.  After attempting to co-ordinate a bungled rider protest at the start of a stage of the recent Dauphine Libere along with Richard Virenque, over the compulsory wearing of

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