Phil Zajicek handed life ban by US Anti-Doping Agency
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Phil Zajicek handed life ban by US Anti-Doping Agency

by Ben Atkins at 3:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Rider suspended for non-analytical positive after he admits buying EPO

phil zajicekPhil Zajicek has been handed a life ban by the Unites States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after he admitted purchasing erythropoietin (EPO), as well as providing false testimony in an American Arbitration Association (AAA) hearing. These offences were his second and third doping infractions, after his positive control for Cathine at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in 2004.

He had originally won the race, but was disqualified from the result, and fined, although he was not suspended.

“Mr. Zajicek has accepted responsibility for his actions, and is aware that the severity of his sanction is a direct result of him intentionally cheating his fellow competitors and then providing false testimony in an effort to escape punishment,” said USADA CEO Travis T Tygart.

VeloNation understands that the EPO purchase was made on Zajicek’s then girlfriend’s computer and he originally escaped sanction because he maintained that it was not possible to prove that he had made the purchase himself.

It is thought he was a client of Joe Papp, who sold doping products to a number of US riders. Papp has been helping USADA with their investigation, and could face a possible prison sentence. He tested positive himself in 2006, testified in the Floyd Landis hearing, but then was implicated in selling EPO and other substances.

As well as his life ban, which began on June 5th, 32-year-old Zajeicek was also ordered to pay USADA $5000 “for expenses associated with his conduct”. Additionally, he has been disqualified from all of his results since April 24, 2007, which is presumably the date that the offence took place.

Zajicek spent 2009 and 2010 with Fly V Australia, and was due to join the Pegasus team for 2011, prior to its folding when the International Cycling Union (UCI) refused to grant a license. His best result in recent years was tenth place overall in the 2010 Tour of California, which he will now lose.

In a statement released today Zajicek accepted his sanction, offering no apology and showing no remorse for his offence.

“Today, I have accepted a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling,” the statement reads. “I have had an enjoyable and successful career which has taken me to all corners of the of the globe and I’m grateful for everything cycling has given me.

“It’s time to walk away from the sport and begin the next chapter of my life with the tremendous support of my wife, family and friends behind me.”

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