UCI confirms it has requested disciplinary action for Yoann Offredo
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Friday, January 06, 2012

UCI confirms it has requested disciplinary action for Yoann Offredo

by Shane Stokes at 12:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Three whereabouts violations in seven months, Cavendish confirms having one

Yoann OffredoHours after it was announced that track sprinter Gregory Baugé had been stripped of his world championship medals due to three whereabouts violations, fellow Frenchman Yoann Offredo is also in hot water and facing a possible ban.

The UCI has verified a Reuters’ report stating that the FDJ BigMat rider missed three tests. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani gave further details of the case to VeloNation, stating that the violations happened over a seven month period.

“I can only confirm that this rider has three whereabouts violations during 2011,” he said. “There was one in January, and two in July. He was informed by us mid-December that the third violation had been registered, so the opening of a procedure could come soon.

“We informed him early today that we have asked the French cycling federation to open procedures against him.”

Although the UCI states that it informed him several weeks ago, Offredo told Reuters that the news was unexpected. “I did not receive a notification from the French federation's disciplinary committee so I'm surprised that the UCI unveiled this case,” he said.

He went on to talk about the circumstances of the violations. “On two occasions, I sent my whereabouts a few hours late,” he said. “On the third occasion, I was at a race added to my schedule at the last minute and I had [previously] said I was at home.”

Offredo did not ride the Tour de France, but instead competed in the Tour de Wallonie in July.

The 25 year old gained a lot of media attention in 2011 thanks to a strong performance in Milan Sanremo. He was one of the riders who attacked on the Cipressa, getting into a four man lead group before the Poggio, and held on to finish seventh. He was also fourth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, eighth overall in the Delta Tour Zeeland and tenth in the WorldTour GP Ouest France race.

Carpani’s indication that the UCI’s notification came five months after the third missed test will likely gain attention, particularly in the wake of the Alex Rasmussen situation. The Dane successfully argued his case to the disciplinary committee of the Danish Sports Federation, pointing out that UCI rules state that the rider must be informed of the violation with 14 days of it happening, and he then has 14 days to respond.

After that, WADA must be informed and, once that is done, there is then a 30 day period within which the UCI must open disciplinary proceedings.

Article 111 of the UCI’s anti-doping rules state that cases should otherwise be dismissed if this timeframe is not followed.

However, while he didn’t give specifics, Carpani said that this would not apply in this circumstance. “I don’t have all the details myself but I have been told that there are no problems for us. The Offredo case is fully compliant with our rules,” he insisted.

The UCI is currently appealing the Rasmusssen case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Cavendish confirms one missed test:

Mark Cavendish Meanwhile world champion Mark Cavendish has received the backing of British Cycling and Team Sky over a story in La Gazzetta dello Sport today that he missed a test last April. “There is absolutely no doubt about Mark's integrity,” said British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford in a statement. “I am totally satisfied that he made a genuine mistake. He is tested regularly and is a powerful advocate for testing and ensuring that sport is clean.”

Cavendish explained how the incident happened. “It was my mistake,” he said, referring to the failure to update his whereabouts information for the day in question. “I was with a film crew for the BBC and Giro d'Italia on Mount Etna. It was a simple, genuine administrative error.

“Of course I totally understand the importance of testing in sport. I was tested by the UCI a couple of weeks before that and twice in the fortnight after and had around 60 tests in all last year. It's part of the job and it's my job to make sure I don't miss another.”

Riders are not liable to sanction unless there are three missed tests within an eighteen month period.

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