Tom Zirbel tests positive for DHEA at US TT Champs
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tom Zirbel tests positive for DHEA at US TT Champs

by VeloNation Press at 11:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

American cyclist Tom Zirbel has had a positive test for DHEA, an exogenous steroid, following his second place finish at the US Time Trial Championships behind David Zabriskie on August 29, 2009. Zirbel was set to join the Garmin-Transitions team for 2010, but was left of the team's official roster announcement last week.

The 31-year-old rode for the Bissell Pro Cycling team in 2009, and has requested that his 'B' sample be tested. In a statement by the rider he said, "I want to inform the cycling community that an 'A' sample of mine from a urine test conducted by USADA on Aug. 29, 2009 after the US Pro TT has tested positive for exogenous DHEA. I have not yet received notification from USADA on the findings of the 'B' sample, but I expect to receive word any day now."

Zirbel denies purposely taking any banned substances and continued his statement by saying, "The US Pro TT was a major objective of mine this season, but I would never compromise my integrity for any bike race. At this point, I don’t know how this happened but regardless of the outcome of my 'B' sample I intend to find out with the help of a few accomplished scientists and doctors who have selflessly helped me since I first was notified of the 'A' findings. With that in mind, I refuse to speculate about how this happened until we have solid scientific evidence."

He was set to join Garmin-Transitions, a team that has been a big part of the anti-doping movement. No comments from team manager Jonathan Vaughters have been made as of yet, but Zirbel understands the magnitude of the situation concluding his statement by saying: "I hate that this situation could and will probably bring more negative attention to our sport, but I am confident that we will find answers and I will be cleared of any wrongdoing. In the meantime, I ask for your understanding and respect while I fight for my career and reputation during this personal matter."

With his fourth place at the World Time Trial Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, Zirbel looked ready to make his mark on the ProTour.  Now, even if the 'B' sample was to come back negative, his chance to shine in Europe is likely over.


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