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Lifetime Ban for Doping Offenders


The Absa Cape Epic has announced that it will tighten its rules regarding anti-doping by introducing a lifetime ban for future offenders in the wake of the first high-profile doping case in South African mountain biking.

In November, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) announced that top cyclist and Absa Cape Epic contender, David George, tested positive for the banned drug, EPO (Erythropoietin) and would face a charge of doping at an independent tribunal. George has officially been given a two-year ban, prohibiting him from cycling professionally for this time period. SAIDS indicated that only results dating back to 29 August this year can be erased, thus George’s 2012 Absa Cape Epic results will remain unaffected. With his riding partner Kevin Evans, George finished in second place overall in this year’s Absa Cape Epic, his best performance in the event to date. George has also won the Absa African Jersey at the Absa Cape Epic three times (2008, 2009, and 2012) and, together with Evans, was a strong contender to be the first all South African team to win the race next year.

 David George racing Stage 6 of the 2012 event, with former partner Kevin Evans.

Says Kevin Vermaak, founder of the race: “As of 1 January 2013, any athlete (professional or amateur) caught using performance enhancing substances, whether at another event or out of competition, will be banned for life from participating in the Absa Cape Epic. Not only will the person not be allowed to participate (as an amateur rider or UCI- licensed elite), but the individual will also be banned from being involved on any level including as a team manager. This is harsher than what is required currently by any federation, but is our considered opinion of what should be enforced even on a wider scale with regards to event participation of convicted dope cheats.”

Vermaak continues: “We’ve chosen not to apply this retrospectively because we believe that would be naive. As has been exposed in recent months, cycling has a dark past. Many riders from this previous era have rediscovered the joy of cycling as mountain bikers and participate in the Absa Cape Epic as their expression of riding clean. Previous offenders, who have served their suspension term, may ride future Absa Cape Epics. We want to be part of the new era of cleaner cycling, and therefore only future offenders will receive the lifetime bans."

Notes on doping incident at the 2012 Absa Cape Epic:

There has been only one reported incident of doping during the Absa Cape Epic when amateur cyclist Wayne Collin tested positive for the anabolic agent, Boldenone and a diuretic, Hydrochlorothiazide, in this year’s (2012) event. Collin is set to appear before the SAIDS tribunal on 24 January 2013.  The Absa Cape Epic was only made aware of Collin’s positive test in December 2012 – 9 months after the positive test. Cycling SA did not notify the Absa Cape Epic according to standard protocol, and as requested by the SAIDS. The Absa Cape Epic will await the outcome of the SAIDS tribunal in January before amending their 2012 results. Collin remains suspended from all competition until his case is concluded.


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