Zirbel retires from cycling
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Zirbel retires from cycling

by Neil Browne at 1:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

According to a post on his own blog, Tom Zirbel announced his retirement from the sport of cycling. Zirbel tested positive for DHEA after the 2009 U.S. Time Trial Championships in Greenville, South Carolina in which he placed second to David Zabriskie. He announced the result of his positive on his blog in late December.

DHEA is an exogenous anabolic steroid and improves muscle strength and endurance.

Before his positive was announced, Zirbel placed fourth in the world time trial championships. That was his first race in Europe.

ZIrbel had signed a contract for the 2010 season with Garmin-Transitions. The contract was voided after he came back positive for DHEA.

“Today is the day I take back the reins. However, today is not yesterday...yesterday was the day I was to cut all ties completely,” posted Zirbel in the beginning of his blog

Zirbel's post goes on to recount his history as a cyclist and the contributions he had hoped to do as his professional cycling career advanced. However, in the prime of his cycling life he found himself not contributing to the charities that meant so much to him. His life became focused only on cycling.

“But the reality is, cycling and racing so consume me that I have little time or energy for anything beyond myself.”

“To me, the life I'm choosing from this day on is more challenging and potentially rewarding than the life of training to ride in a straight line really fast for 40 minutes. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to do both so it's time to step back and re-prioritize,” continued Zirbel.

Zirbel has released his lawyer and is not taking his case to a hearing with the USADA. Instead he states that is going to try and figure out how his positive occurred so it won't happen to anyone else.

His closing statements on his post seems upbeat about his current situation.

“I'm ready to turn the page and start living a better, more fulfilling life. Whether or not bicycle racing is in that future is too foggy to tell. I hope you all can understand why I've chosen this road. It feels so good to be out of the holding pattern.”

Zirbel maintains his innocence and claimed he must have unknowingly ingested the DHEA.


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