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Australian cycling hit by more doping schemes -

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Australian cycling rocked by fresh doping claim
Martin Cuddihy reported this story on Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:30:00

ELEANOR HALL: Now to another development over drugs in cycling.

There is evidence today that an elite Australian cyclist returned a positive drug test two years ago but wasn't told about it for months and continued to race.

The cyclist, who can't be named for legal reasons, appealed a finding against him to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

As revealed on RN Breakfast this morning, the tribunal has now handed down its findings and it's highly critical of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's handling of the matter.

Martin Cuddihy has our report.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: In October 2010, at an international cycling event in China, an Australian cyclist submitted a routine drug test.

Two days later the A sample was analysed, and a small amount of the principal metabolite found in cocaine was detected.

The cyclist should have been told about the positive test within a week but for months he continued to race and even signed on with a new sponsor in early 2011.

The contract included a provision that would see the deal terminated if he breached anti-doping rules.

It wasn't until March 2011 that the international cycling union finally wrote to him.

Despite the delays, the anti-doping rule violation panel found against the cyclist, so he took his case to the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal. It has now set aside two initial decisions by the panel, finding:

AUSTRALIAN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL (voiceover): The long delay in notifying the athlete of his initial test results meant that the UCI was in gross breach of its own Anti-Doping Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code provisions governing results management.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: The union also notified Cycling Australia in March but nearly a month passed before the cyclist heard anything further and when he did it wasn't from Cycling Australia, but rather from the general manager of Anti-Doping Programs and Legal Services at Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

The tribunal is highly critical of the panel and anti-doping authority.

AUSTRALIAN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL (voiceover): The tribunal has concluded that ASADA and the ADRVP (Anti-Doping Rule Violation Pane) each misconceived their respective legal obligations under the ASADA Act and to the NAD Scheme, in so far as they proceeded on the basis that it was sufficient for the ADRVP to reach conclusions based on a "possible" finding.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: There is one entry in the register of findings naming the athlete but his name has been omitted from the tribunal's finding.

Andy Layhe is from Bike Pure - an independent group promoting drug free cycling.

ANDY LAYHE: I think the other whole side of the testing procedures and the policies and the red tape, if you like, needs to be, needs to be sharpened, needs to be addressed more precisely because it is a grey area and I think if there has been any sort of cover up, the guys, the rider or regards any organisation whether that be Cycling Australia, or the UCI, and again that needs to be looked at, needs to be reviewed and I think everybody has to keep their house in order no matter who it is within the sport because anti-doping, it's such a fine line now that everything has to done, every box has to be ticked and I think procedures have to be met at every stage.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: Do you have any sympathy for the rider who was competing for several months without knowing that he had a positive drug test hanging over his head?

ANDY LAYHE: Well, he'd have to be informed. That's the rules. I mean if the rules aren't adhered to then it is not right obviously. Again, without knowing too much about the case I think everything needs to be addressed and if the rider is competing unknown that he's been sanctioned, tested positive, then I think it just speaks volumes for an area that is wrong and it needs to be addressed.

MARTIN CUDDIHY: No one from Cycling Australia or ASADA would talk to The World Today.

ELEANOR HALL: Martin Cuddihy reporting.