Gilbert says cycling is not the only sport with doping problems
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gilbert says cycling is not the only sport with doping problems

by Xylon van Eyck at 11:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
World Champ says evidence against Armstrong should have come out sooner

Philippe GilbertWorld Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) has told Euronews that he considers it a shame the doping allegations and evidence during the Lance Armstrong era was not made public earlier. Gilbert further said it is impressive how Armstrong and his accomplices were able to organise their lives with all the colluding and complicity during what the US Anti-Doping Agency calls the “most sophisticated doping programme the sport has ever seen.”

“It’s unfortunate what is happening and it is unfortunate that it didn’t come out in the press earlier… if there were so many people who knew about it it’s a shame it didn’t come out earlier and then it could have been sorted out earlier,” Gilbert told the news agency.

The Belgian went on to explain the current problem that cycling faces with its tarnished reputation. He said cycling is the only sport to take its destiny in its hands, saying, “we the riders pay the controls ourselves, we put into place the biological passport, all riders of my generation were for it in order to get us out of this situation.

“So you pay 3% of the yearly profits towards these funds, plus all teams pay an annual fee for anti-doping, I mean we all contribute to this sport, there’s a lot of willingness on behalf of the younger generation like mine. But obviously when a sport puts into place these kind of controls, you will get positive cases.”

The sport suffered a further set back yesterday when long-time sponsor, the Dutch bank Rabobank, announced it was pulling the plug on its backing of the WorldTour team, effective 31 December 2012. It will fulfil its financial obligations to the team for 2013 [until 2016 for the women] but wants all Rabobank branding removed from jerseys and team vehicles. The bank cited the USADA case against Armstrong and his former colleagues as its main reasons for leaving.

However Gilbert believes cycling is not the only sport with doping problems.

‘‘There are many sports where there are very few controls or they are notified beforehand so there is a complicity to avoid positive cases. And when there are the positive results, they are often covered up. We are trying to solve this problem as quickly as possible and to weed out the cheaters. I think a lot of people often point the finger at us because of that, but it’s not just our sport with a doping problem. If other sports had the same level of testing I think there would be a lot of surprises.’‘

Gilbert rides for the BMC Racing Team and this season rode alongside former Lance Armstrong teammate George Hincapie, who is one of the riders who admitted doping while on the US Postal team. The team president Jim Ochowicz is the godfather of Lance Armstrong’s son Luke.

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