Tom Zirbel accepts doping suspension, Jonathan Vaughters shows support
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Zirbel accepts doping suspension, Vaughters shows support

by VeloNation Press at 6:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Today the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that Tom Zirbel has accepted the suspension for his doping offense. He had a positive doping control 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 step up and join the Garmin-Transitions team for 2010 to try out his legs racing in Europe, but was mysteriously left of the team's official roster at the time it was released.

Zirbel, who maintains his innocence, said on his blog in February that he was "walking away" from the sport rather than attempting fight the charge. Today he wrote that he had accepted his sanction to gain some credibility with the USADA, but still does not know the cause of his positive result.

His blog entry continued: "Even when my friends and family know that I am not a cheat, it still hurts to write this and it really hurt to send that fax today [to accept his sanction]," he wrote.

"Nothing has really changed: I will still continue to have testing done to try and figure out how this all happened in the first place and I still won't be racing."

His positive result came as a shock to many in the cycling community, especially due to the anti-doping stance of the team he was to ride for this year. Today Garmin Transitions’ boss Jonathan Vaughters came out in support of Zirbel, commenting on his Twitter account: “Rode the chairlift with Travis Tygart, CEO USADA the other day-Good guy...but...gotta say, I wish Zirbel could be racing with us this year.” His comment was likely of some consolation to Zirbel.

Zirbel, who is 31 years of age, began his two-year period of ineligibility on November 17, 2009, the day he accepted his provisional suspension.

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