2010 Canadian espoir champion Arnaud Papillon given two year doping ban for EPO use
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2010 Canadian espoir champion Arnaud Papillon given two year doping ban for EPO use

by Shane Stokes at 1:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Young rider admits taking banned substance

The 2010 Candian Under 23 champion Arnaud Papillon has been handed a two year suspension after testing positive for EPO during this year’s championships, and has publicly admitted the offence via a letter released to the press.

Papillon confirmed that he has been handed a two year ban by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. His admission came in a letter sent to the Veloptimum website. He didn’t name the substance in question but a release subsequently issued by the Canadian Centre for Ethics revealed that it was the banned blood booster EPO.

“The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has suspended me from competition for a period of two years,” he wrote in his communication. “The cause: taking a banned substance. I do not deny the decision which I took and I take full responsibility for it. I admit having done something unacceptable and I regret it. I apologize for the disappointment that I cause to those who put their trust in me, notably those close to me [family – ed.], my coach and the members of my team.

“I want to clarify that it’s only recently that doping has taken place in my life. After many disappointments, I had almost given up on everything. I tried to redirect my life but my love for the sport was bigger. After multiple struggles with ethics, I weakened. I must live with this reality and learn from the consequences for the rest of my life.

“Cycling has changed not only the athlete I am and that I always will be, but also the person that I am. Sport instilled strong values in me, and with the unfortunate experience that I have to live with, I leave competition and begin another chapter of my life with the support of my family and those close to me.

“I wish good success to all my former teammates and competitors. Cycling requires a transcendence where there is no place for artificial glory. I beg you not to take this direction.”

He ended the message by saying that he would make no further comment on the matter.

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s release filled in some missing details. It said that the two year sanction was applied after he was positive for EPO during this year’s Canadian Road Championships.

“Papillon, who was tested multiple times prior to, during and after the Canadian Championships, had two separate urine samples (one in-competition sample and one out-of competition sample) return adverse analytical findings for the presence of EPO, a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency 2011Prohibited List,” it stated.

“Papillon waived his right to a hearing and accepted the proposed sanction of two years ineligibility from sport commencing August 12, 2011. The sanction prevents Papillon from participating in any capacity in any competition or in any sport-related activity, including training with team mates, authorized or organized by an organization that has adopted the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.”

Paul Melia, President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, said that the nature of the banned substance made things even more serious than other positive tests. “It is always disappointing when we find that an athlete has attempted to cheat,” he stated. “However, it is even more disconcerting when we find out that the substance being used is as dangerous and sophisticated as EPO.”

Papillon took the Canadian under 23 title in 2010, finishing eighth overall in the Elite road race. He was eighth in the Coupe des Nations Ville Saguenay event and 21st in the world under 23 road race championships in Geelong, Australia.

This season saw him take sixth in the Elite event at the Canadian road race championships, as well as two top ten finishes on stages of the Tour de Beauce plus nineteenth overall. The 22 year old is young enough to return to the sport after his two year ban ends, but his letter of admission seems to suggest that he his cycling days could be over.


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