Salzwedel "disappointed and sad" with four RusVelo positives this year
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Salzwedel "disappointed and sad" with four RusVelo positives this year

by Shane Stokes at 8:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Doping
“It looks to me that the management has no influence and control over their riders any more”

RusveloFormer general manager Heiko Salzwedel has said that he is saddened by the four positive tests that the RusVelo team has had this year, and suggests that the new management may be losing control of the riders.

In April Valery Kaykov was provisionally suspended after he had a positive A sample for the unapproved black market substance GW501516. In recent days three others - Roman Maikin, Andrey Solomennikov and Artem Ovechkin – were announced as having tested positive at the Russian national championships, with the team saying that the substance in question was fenoterol.

It blamed the team doctor for prescribing an asthma medication containing the banned product, and said that he would be sanctioned as a result of the matter.

Contacted by VeloNation after he tweeted his dismay yesterday, Salzwedel gave a full reaction to the news. “I am disappointed and sad about these developments. Last year, our riders have been tested 240 times. That makes an average of 10 tests per rider. None of those delivered a positive result.” he said. “Now, under the new all-Russian management, there are already four positives. I am not saying that they administer drugs but it looks to me that the management has no influence and control over their riders any more.”

Salzwedel previously worked successful with the Australian Institute of Sport, British Cycling and the Danish federation as a highly successful track coach. He was involved in setting up the RusVelo team, which had the goal of developing Russian track cycling to a very high level. Its riders compete on both road and track.

“I founded the Rusvelo team with the generous support of the former ITERA owner and Gas Billionaire Igor Makarov. The Business Plan 2011-2016 I submitted to Mr.Makarov had on the front page the Mission Statement ‘Russian Cycling Federation and ITERA are establishing a Track Cycling Project to become the leading nation in Track Cycling with clean riders.’ In retrospect, it feels like a joke now,” he said.

Salzwedel said that the short term goal was become a top six track cycling national by 2012, and to win two medals with a particular focus on team pursuit and team sprint. Longer term, he said that he wanted Russia to be the world’s leading track cycling nation by 2016.

Following a modest Olympic Games campaign in London, Salzwedel said that he suggested that he should step down as general manager of the RusVelo team and refocus his full efforts on coaching.

“This proposal was accepted and on October 1st I was replaced by a Russian general manager and I was offered another four year contract as coach. Everybody seemed to be happy with this solution, but I felt the Russian Cycling Federation were less and less prepared to accept my leadership style and our team philosophy. I was more and more sidelined and some important decisions were made without consulting me.”

He said that while the team pursuit riders were successful in the final World Cup before the track worlds, that their goal of winning gold there unravelled when Artur Ershov crashed early on and the team – which had already false started – had to carry on without him. They finished fifth overall.

Despite his four year contract, Salzwedel said that he received an early termination notice the day after the Track World Championships without explanation.

While his experience since the Olympics has undoubtedly soured things with RusVelo, Salzwedel’s concern about the spate of positives within the team seems understandable.

The team will have a meeting shortly with the anti-doping MPCC organisation, of which it is a member, and will likely face suspension from the group.


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