Vincent Lavenu saddened and angered by Steve Houanard positive
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vincent Lavenu saddened and angered by Steve Houanard positive

by Ben Atkins at 4:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
AG2R La Mondiale removes rider from competition and trusts in anti-doping proces

vincent lavenuAG2R La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu has reacted with sadness and anger at the news that his rider, Steve Houanard, has returned a non-negative sample for EPO. The 27-year-old rider gave the sample in an out of competition control on September 21st, and was immediately withdrawn from the French team that is currently competing at the Tour of Beijing.

“It is with sadness that I heard this unfortunate news,” said Lavenu. “Above all, I’m driven this evening by a strong feeling of anger because of important damages for the team and our sponsors.”

Lavenu’s AG2R La Mondiale team once again finds itself close to the bottom of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour rankings, with only newcomer FDJ-BigMat below it. The team is signing some big names for 2013, including Domenico Pozzivivo, who will bring a number of points with them; although a number of big names, including Irishman Nicolas Roche is on his way out.

While the French team may meet the UCI’s sporting criteria for the 2013 WorldTour, Lavenu does not wish to lose his spot at the sport’s top table through its ethical criteria, and emphasised his team’s stance on anti-doping.

“I want to reiterate our commitment to the biological passport and to the values upheld by the International Cycling Union,” the Frenchman added.  “We have full confidence in the competent authorities in their fight against doping.”


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