O’Bee hit with lifetime ban for multiple doping offences
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

O’Bee hit with lifetime ban for multiple doping offences

by Shane Stokes at 5:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, National Championships
 
Rider used testosterone, EPO and growth hormone during his career

dopingFormer US criterium champion Kirk O’Bee has been hit with a lifetime ban from the sport, incurring the ban after a positive test for EPO plus proof that he had purchased doping substances on multiple occasions.

The 33 year old was first sanctioned back in 2001 when he won the US criterium championships for the first time. Tested at the event on June 10th, he returned a positive test for testosterone and was both disqualified and suspended by USADA for a year.

The second failed test took place in an out of competition test taken on May 20th 2009. On that occasion he was positive for synthetic EPO. However he also fell foul of rules forbidding the purchase of banned substances, breaking those sporting regulations on multiple occasions.

According to a statement by USADA, independent American Arbitration Association (AAA) judges examined other evidence and determined that he had been doping far before the second positive test. “The AAA panel also found that documentary evidence obtained by USADA and introduced at the hearing, including emails reflecting the purchase or use of prohibited substances, such as EPO and hGH, and purchase of a blood measuring device, established that O’Bee had actually committed a second doping violation by at least October 3, 2005, nearly four years prior to his second positive drug test.”

Because of these violations of sporting laws, he has been handed a lifetime ban by the panel. In addition to that, all sporting results from October 3rd 2005 onwards have been stripped away. These include his stage win and overall victory in the 2006 Tour de Taiwan, as well as his stage wins at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Cascade Classic in 2007. Other results struck off from that season include the US national criterium title, the Tour de Gastown and the Giro di Burnaby.

After riding with Mapei – Quick Step in 1999, he then began a run of competing for some of the biggest teams in US cycling. He rode with US Postal Service (2000), Navigators Insurance (2001 – 2005), Health Net (2006 – 2008) and Bissell in 2009. He was fired by the latter on July 31st.

At the time it didn’t specify what he had done, but it said that he had violated his contract and was in dialogue with USADA and WADA.

“I deeply regret that a mistake I made as an individual will reflect poorly on the entire sport,” he said in a statement released at the time. “I’d especially like to apologize to my team-mates and to my sponsors, and hope that my actions will not damage their good names.”

It is not known whether his past with the US Postal Service team will lead to interviews from Jeff Novitzky, who is looking into allegations that a systematic doping practice took place on that squad.

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