Thomas Dekker unhappy at maximum two-year suspension
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thomas Dekker unhappy at maximum two-year suspension

by Ben Atkins at 7:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Thomas Dekker was banned for two years by the Monaco cycling federation yesterday after testing positive for Dynepo, a variant of EPO, but is unhappy to have received to maximum possible sentence, according to de Telegraaf.

"Why do I get two years, while [Riccardo] Riccò was suspended four months less?" he asked.

"Riccò tested positive during the Tour for the latest EPO variant Cera. I tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in winter, but never used dope during a race. It was only eighteen months later I was found positive in re-testing. I really do not understand what the basis for the maximum punishment is, and I do not know what steps I may have to take.

“This is another heavy blow,” he added. “Honestly I had not counted on this."

If his claim is true, then Dekker is the latest in a long line of athletes, in cycling and other sports, who were unlucky enough to be tested in the days after they used performance enhancing drugs for the very first time. The fact that the re-testing of the eighteen-month old samples was ordered by the International Cycling Union (UCI) over suspicious values on his biological passport would dispute this claim however.

Telegraaf also reports that the former Tirreno-Adriatico winner was holding hopes of returning to racing this season, even going on a training camp to Gran Canaria. This two-year sentence is a new attack on his morale. "But they won’t get me down,” he said. “I will definitely return and clear my name."

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