Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Iban suspended


The CAS finally managed to reach a conclusion. But it wasn't the right one; they suspended Iban for two years, meaning he has approximately 11 months left "to serve". I was shocked to read the news, it was a slap in the face. I never expected this. The CAS' statement reads: "The CAS panel was of the opinion the decision of the UCI to proceed to a new analysis of the B sample was in accordance with the letter and spirit of the UCI anti-doping regulations", and as a result upheld the UCI's decision to suspend him. This was a tad short I thought, so I checked CAS' own website for more info. At their page I found the following statement:


IBAN MAYO SUSPENDED TWO YEARS BY
THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS)


Lausanne, 12 August 2008, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeal filed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in a case involving the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) and the Spanish cyclist Iban Mayo. Accordingly, the CAS disqualified Iban Mayo from the Tour de France 2007 and imposed a two-year ban as from 31 July 2007. The UCI had challenged the decision of the RFEC to terminate the disciplinary case of Iban Mayo at the end of the last year and had submitted the case to the CAS. Iban Mayo had undergone an anti-doping control on 24 July 2007, during the Tour de France. The A-sample analysis, performed by the Anti-doping laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD), revealed the presence of recombinant EPO. Due to the annual closing of the LNDD, the B-sample analysis had been conducted by the Laboratory in Ghent (Belgium). This laboratory requested the opinion of another laboratory in Sydney, which had itself indicated that the result of the B-sample analysis was “inconclusive”. The UCI had then decided that the B-sample analysis should be performed by the LNDD but the athlete had objected to such decision. On 6 December 2007, the LNDD confirmed the presence of recombinant EPO in the B-sample. The RFEC had finally concluded that the B-sample was not positive and had decided to terminate the procedure. The CAS Panel was of the opinion that the decision of the UCI to proceed to a new analysis of the B-sample was in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations and of the international standard for laboratories. Furthermore, the Panel stated that the two analyses performed by the LNDD had brought the clear evidence of the presence of recombinant EPO in the urine of Iban Mayo. The cyclist is suspended for a period of two years from 31 July 2007, namely, on the day when he was suspended by his team (Saunier Duval) and deprived of his salary.

Iban has, at least as far as I know, not made any public statement regarding the matter, but I assume he will in the near future. It's a travesty, nothing less, and he's probably going through hell once again now I'm afraid. I have no idea whether he'll retire or not, but I have a bad feeling we've seen Iban race for the last time. More to follow...

12 comments:

Bolsen3 said...

Well, that's the end of my time as an Iban Mayo-fan. From an objective view I think CAS made the right decision after all. I have so much against doping, and in the long run I think it'll be wiser to support the ones who fight doping rather than supporting the cheaters. It's hard to change your opinion on one of your biggest heroes ever, but I've had a lot of time to think about it since July 2007. Iban cheated in the Tour the France 2007, there's no running away form it. Sure, he could have been cleared on some little technicality , but in the end I'm glad he didn't . I want the cheaters out! I hate the riders who's judged for dope, and I hope they get the punishment they surly deserve. To think otherwise about Iban Mayo because he used to be my favorite rider would make me quite a hypocrite. Can we be 100% sure that every rider that is caught is guilty? Probably not, but the only ones that can is the riders them selves. I have no reason to doubt the UCI or CAS, other than the fact that they perhaps could've caught even more people. A lot of Iban-fans will probably keep on believing he's innocent, and come up with crazy conspiracy theories, like we always see with fans of riders caught for doping. Love makes you blind, isn't that the saying? I'm kind of sorry to say, but I'm not blind, at least not any more. Iban, as a cyclist, is dead to me now...

The good memories I have will never change though. You can't change memories and history. But good Iban-moments have been few for me (I became a fan before the 2004 Tour, bad luck, huh? :-). But the fewer moments, the greater they were when they first came. Like the Giro stage he won, or when he was almost back to his old self in the Tour on the stage to Tignes. I was so happy then, good times. But perhaps the biggest moment for me was when he was second on a mountainstage in Dauphine Libere 2006, the day before he won a stage. It made me feel so good to see him back in business. The good emotions linked to these moments will forever be with me, that can't be changed...

Wow, this was a long speech, but it sure felt good to get my emotions out! What will you do with the blog, Magnus? I think it would be great if you continued to write, and renamed this blog the "Euskaltel-blog" or something like that. But if you should choose to still call it Iban Mayo-blog, I'll still come around to read about Euskaltel, without doubt the best English internet page with Euskaltel-info ;-)

Magnus said...

Great to see people expressing their feelings:) I agree with you on some points, for sure, but for me he's not "dead as a cyclist", he never will be... It's hard to get your head around this whole thing, trying to look at it objectively, but I guess time will be my best friend in that case... The blog? That's a tough question. I'm really not sure, as Ibán was the reason for me starting it. Changing it to an Euskaltel blog doesn't sound that attractive to me. Time will tell, I'll need to think it over.

Anonymous said...

I know what bolsen3 is saying but I just can't hate Iban Mayo. I hate doping a lot too but on the other hand I can't imagine the pressure these cyclists are under to not only perform at the highest level but actually get good results. I'm definitely not condoning it or saying it's alright, he did something horrible, that affected not only fans, family but the actual sport of cycling. But on the other hand he is still just human in the end and we all make mistakes.

Mike

Anonymous said...

aie aie aie...Is that the end??

:'(

=(

i hope (i don't know if it's "hope")
it's not the end for him

euskal29

Bolsen3 said...

Hate is a little too strong I guess. Anyway, my point is that I will not look at Iban Mayo any different than I look at other cheaters like Ricco or Basso...

Maybe I'll give him a seccond chance IF he chooses to come back after he has served his time, we'll see. Anyhow, I don't feel sorry for him at all. He's probably having a really hard time, but I think he deserves it. One could say that he's been caught in a "generation-gap", the attitude towards doping has changed a lot over the last years. Unfortunately for us fans, Iban stuck on the wrong side of the fence. Sure, I can understand why some will cheat considering the pressure and such, but they all have their own mind, and can make their own decision, and the decisions Iban made I cannot support in any way, therefor he has lost at least one fan...

I absolutely understand your doubt, Magnus. I sure hope you'll continue one way or the other ;)

Nicholas said...

Iban cheated and that was clear to me after the whole Operacion Puerto came to light. Suddenly, his ups-and-downs seemed reasonable. But, I was still a fan 'cause I still had some hope in him.

Iban is a cheater but as Bjarne Riis said, I hope you had a good time, I did for sure. In another way: what has been good doesn't come back badly. For me, the greatest moment is still the Dauphiné 2006 which is propably the last time I've been totally obsessed with nothing but cycling the only time before was the Tour 2003. So, Iban is a cheater but I'm still an Iban-fan and he will always be the greatest rider for me in all my time as a cycling-fan. I hope Iban will return and I hope he will confess.

Magnus said...

Amen

Magnus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bolsen3 said...

I agree with a lot of the things you write, Nicholas. Iban has been one of the biggest reasons for my growing cycling-enthusiasm over the last few years, and perhaps my biggest inspiration for starting to ride a little myself. I've been a huge fan in the years 2004-2007. But for me it's right to move on, cheating and doping is against every value I have, and I look at the people who still does this shit as enemies of my sport. Iban was my hero in some years, I cannot, and will not change that, but hell freezes to ice before I think of him the same way again...

Anonymous said...

Whether Mayo doped or not, this case has been more about the mis-guided inefficiency of the UCI than anything else. Did anyone even begin to think that CAS would have went against the UCI and what it would have cost them in damages? After his much publicised 'targeting of Mayo, McQuaid must have filled his pants when the 'inconclusive' B result came back. If he/they wanted to retain any credibility from the situation, they could have easily had the sample tested at a third lab to allay any suspicion of 'fixing' the result. They failed.

pepo said...

Life goes on, even for Mayo. Mayby we will see him agin in some professional continental team. I hope so for he is still my fan.

racejunkie said...

Magnus, I was delighted when you continued posting about Euskaltel even after Iban was forced off the bike, and do hope you'll continue this wonderful blog into the future. But as a huge (and still ongoing) Mayo fan, I share your pain--say it ain't so, Iban, and at least clean up your act, UCI!

 

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