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Cycling: Cycling Australia given deadline for drug probe

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posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 09:51 AM
SYDNEY: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Saturday pressed Cycling Australia (CA) for an urgent inquiry into potentially-damaging allegations of a performance-enhancing drug culture at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Federal parliament was told on Friday that a group of unnamed Australian cyclists, including two potential Athens Olympic gold medallists, injected banned substances at the government-funded AIS cycling centre in Adelaide. Speaking under parliamentary privilege, opposition Labor Party senator John Faulkner said a group of up to six unnamed cyclists regularly locked themselves in disgraced former junior track champion Mark French’s room in the Adelaide centre to inject drugs. He did not name names. The claims have emerged after disgraced AIS cyclist Mark French implicated five other riders with injecting prohibited substances.

French, suspended for two years for a drugs offence, made the comments during sworn evidence at his closed drugs hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month. The claims came to light in federal parliament on Friday and the AOC on Saturday sought assurances from CA that it would be sending a clean cycling team to Athens and for the claims to be resolved by July 9 – the date for final Olympic nominations. CA said any investigation would be independent and Fredericks admitted “it would be a hell of a challenge” to be finished in such a short period. Fredericks said he could not be confident the accused cyclists would be cleared.


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