Kacper and Pawel Szczepaniak given four and eight year suspensions
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Kacper and Pawel Szczepaniak given four and eight year suspensions

by VeloNation Press at 12:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Cyclocross
 
Brothers took silver and gold in Tabor

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced today that Polish cyclocross riders Kacper and Pawel Szczepaniak have been suspended for four and eight years respectively by their national federation.  In addition, Kacper will be forced to pay a fine of 1,680 euros, while his brother will pay a fine of 750 euros.

In January the two brothers surprisingly dominated the World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, with Pawel winning the race and Kacper finishing in second.  20-year-old Pawel had recently signed for the Belgian Telenet-Fidea team to join his older brother, current senior World champion Zdenek Stybar and two-time World champion Bart Wellens.

The brothers admitted to doping, with Pawel coming clean about the circumstances that led he and his brother to their positive doping controls for EPO.  He told Het Laatste Nieuws that just weeks prior to the competition they were both clean.

"I feel like hell," he said to the Belgian paper in late March. "I can assure you that three weeks before the World Championships I rode clean. But then it [his form] went downhill and I panicked.

"I met someone who said: 'I can make you World Champion.' There was no talk of EPO, only of vitamins. I liked the idea and I convinced my brother [Kacper]."

Pawel admitted that he and his brother found cyclo-cross as a way to help their family break out of poverty at home in Poland. "We wanted a better life for our parents," says Szczepaniak. "My father is bus driver and earns 250 euros per month, and my mother works in a salon.”

Kacper attempted suicide in early March following the announcement of their positive doping control, but the act was prevented by his father.

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