Gert Steegmans terminates contract with Katusha
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gert Steegmans terminates contract with Katusha

by VeloNation Press at 8:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Belgian Gert Steegmans has ended his contract with the Russian Katusha team effective immediately. His agent told the Dutch press that he has no comment on the action that has been a long time coming.

In late June his Russian team listed Steegmans as inactive after he locked horns with team management in May because of his injury, and then refusing to sign a mandatory anti-doping addendum to his contract.

The addendum to his contract contained a clause that meant the Belgian sprinter would have to pay five years salary should he test positive for banned substances in a doping test.

Katusha director sportif Jef Braeckevelt said the move was “good for both parties”, acknowledging that “Gert never wanted to sign the anti-doping charter.” Something that disappointed his team management enough to put him on the inactive list forcing Steegmans to miss the Tour de France.

Shortly after news about the anti-doping charter came out, it was announced that Christian Pfannberger had tested positive for EPO in an out of competition drug test.

After a dismal season due to a back injury that caused the Belgian to lose power in his leg, finding a contract with the same financial terms as Katusha will be challenging.

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