Sainz gets one year prison term
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sainz gets one year prison term

by Bjorn Haake at 12:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

Bernard Sainz lost his appeal and will have to spend one year in prison. The former soigneur was found guilty to have dealt with illegal substances. Sainz did manage to at least get a reduced sentencing, down from the initial 18-month prison term. Immediately after the ruling, Sainz declared that he will go to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, according to

One of Sainz's clients was the late Frank Vandenbroucke and Sainz was actually arrested when he was on his way home from Vandenbroucke's house in 2002. Sainz was stopped at a traffic control, but the police were quite impressed with the illegal substances they found in the car. A subsequent search of Vandenbroucke's house revealed EPO, morphine and clenbuterole, which helps building muscle mass.

Sainz had already been arrested in 1999, for violating terms of his probation, stemming from the Festina scandal in 1998. One of the probation items was to not have contact with professional cyclists.

Sainz, nicknamed Dr. Mabuse, has a long history of being connected to doping accusations. As early as 1986, he was implicated to have trafficked amphetamines. In 2000 he wrote a book called "The stunning revelations of Dr Mabuse." He defended himself and denied that he was responsible for Cyrille Guimard's abandoning of the 1972 Tour de France. Guimard had to stop due to knee problems and many blamed Sainz and his 'homeopathic' methods.

Later, Philippe Gaumont also was supposedly getting homeopathic treatment from Sainz. In 1999 Gaumont still maintained that he used homeopathic substances and that he had given those products to his friend Vandenbroucke. It wasn't until 2004 that Gaumont admitted to long-time drug usage.

The fight against doping continues and putting doctors in jail sends a strong message that using illegal substances can have consequences not only for the riders, but for the people behind the scenes.


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