June 08, 2006
Hondo cleared to resume racing
A federal court in Switzerland has overturned Danilo Hondo's drug suspension. This should allow Hondo to return to racing, with German Continental squad Lamonta.
March 17, 2006
Danilo Hondo wins legal battle over suspension
Former Gerolsteiner rider Danilo Hondo, has won in civil court what he couldn't in the sports courts: an early end to his suspension.
Hondo was suspended and fired after testing positive for carphedon at the 2005 Vuelta a Murcia. Initially suspended for two years, Hondo's suspension was cut to 1 year in June 2005, then extended to 2 years in January 2006.
Carphedon is the same substance that got Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva stripped of her Olympic silver medal in Turin (oops, Torino).
Hondo says he's been training and is ready to ride.
March 14, 2006
Classics kick off Saturday with Milan-San Remo
With Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico out of the way, we can look forward to La Primavera, Milan-San Remo, the first classic of the year, running this Saturday in Italy.
It's the longest of the classics, at more than 180 miles and about 7 hours in the saddle. Last year, Alessandro Petacchi finally took his first win in San Remo, ahead of Danilo Hondo (and whatever became of him?) and Thor Hushovd.
In 2004, Erik Zabel timed his sprint perfectly, and looked to have his 5th Milan-San Remo locked up, only to sit up early and lose to Rabobank's Oscar Freire.
Over at the International Herald Tribune, Samuel Abt handicaps the 2006 edition of the race. The obvious favorites are Petacchi and Tom Boonen, both of whom are winning sprints seemingly at will this year. Both of them have some extra baggage, their teammates Zabel (with Petacchi at Milram) and Paolo Bettini (with Boonen at Quick Step), who won the race in 2003.
Bettini is banged up from a crash at Tirreno-Adriatico, but told Eurosport he'll definitely be racing on Saturday:
"I'm going to start the race on Saturday and then worry about getting to San Remo," he added on Tuesday ... "My back and my knee still hurts when I stand on the pedals but I'm optimistic things will improve," he said ... "Unfortunately, Milan-San Remo is the longest race of the season. I just hope my back and knee don't hold me back during the final part of the race."
Boonen toured the race finish Monday. If he could win here, he would be just the 5th man to win the race while world champion. Even so, he's my pick.
January 10, 2006
UCI, WADA prevail: Hondo's suspension extended
Danilo Hondo was given an unusual suspension in June 2005, after testing positive for carphedon. Rather than a straight two-year ban, Swiss Olympic, his national governing body, gave him a 1-year ban and 1 year on probation, which would have put him back in the peloton this spring.
The UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, arguing that Hondo's suspension was too light. On Tuesday, the CAS agreed, extending Hondo's race ban until April 1, 2007.
June 05, 2005
This week in doping
It's been a big week in doping and doping controls:
- VeloNews.com | Two riders fail blood check at Dauphiné
Liberty Seguros' Isidro Nozal (not to be confused with Discovery's Benjamin Noval) and Lampre's Scotto D'Abusco have been DQ'ed from the Dauphiné after testing too high on their prerace hematocrit levels. Officially, the riders are banned from racing for 15 days, but no presumption of doping can be made. Liberty Seguros, however, includes a clause removing riders from the team on any positive, so Nozal will be undergoing additional UCI tests to determine the cause of his high hematocrit.
- Yahoo! Sport | Hamilton appeals against two year blood doping ban: CAS
Tyler Hamilton is taking his appeal all the way to the top, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could shorten his 2-year suspension if they go for the whole chimera defense.
- Eurosport.com | Hondo banned for one year
Potentially giving Hamilton a little hope is the case of Danilo Hondo, who this week had his ban reduced to 1 year with a four-year probation. He can come back in April 2006, after testing positive for stimulants in March.
- BBC Sport | Lotz leaves in doping controversy
Quick Step's Marc Lotz was forced off the team when a local investigation turned up a dealer of anabolic steroids and growth hormone, and evidence that Lotz was a client. A search of Lotz's home reportedly turned up EPO and other banned substances.
April 14, 2005
Hondo suspended, dropped by Gerolsteiner
Gerolsteiner sprinter Danilo Hondo, who twice tested positive for the stimulant carphedon at the Vuelta a Murcia, has been fired by his team.
Hondo's B sample, tested by a lab in Madrid, confirmed the initial findings. Gerolsteiner, a German mineral-water company, issued a press release (in German):
Gerolsteiner's statement added: "We're sorry that it has involved Danilo Hondo, but we support all measures against doping. It is one of the pillars of our contracts."
Hondo will most likely be suspended for two years by the Swiss cycling federation.
April 13, 2005
Next to go: Hondo or Hamilton?
Shouldn't be long now -- results on Danilo Hondo's B sample are expected by week's end. He twice tested positive for Carphedon, a stimulant that increases endurance and cold resistance.
By the way, here's a Google search for Carphedon: The Hondo story is the subject of the top 10 links, all in German. About the only link that's not directly sports-related is this journal abstract, which is looking for a urine test for carphedon.
Tyler Hamilton still doesn't have the results of his hearing conducted back in February. He, too, is expecting news soon.
April 02, 2005
Danilo Hondo positive for stimulants, awaits B sample
Gerolsteiner sprinter Danilo Hondo tested positive -- twice -- for as-yet-unnamed stimulants at the Tour of Murcia last month.
The team has suspended him pending results of the B samples.
Hondo won two stages at the Tour of Murcia, and came second at Milan-San Remo. He'll be suspended for two years if the B sample comes back positive.
March 19, 2005
Petacchi takes Milan-San Remo
It's Petacchi's 13th 2005 win, following three stage wins in Tirreno-Adriatico last week. Pre-race favorite Oscar Freire apparently got boxed out of the finishing sprint.
Stuart O'Grady was 4th, and Freire finished 5th.
Discovery Channel's two best hopes in the race, Max Van Heeswijk and George Hincapie, both scratched, leaving Stijn Devolder the team leader.
Similarly, Robbie McEwen withdrew, leaving American Fred Rodriguez the Davitamon-Lotto designated sprinter.
March 15, 2005
Petacchi takes a 3rd stage, Freire the overall at Tirreno-Adriatico
Alessandro Petacchi took another stage at Tirreno-Adriatico Tuesday, his 3rd stage of the race and 12th victory of the season.
Rabobank's Oscar Freire didn't contest the sprint, and took the overall victory, after winning three consecutive stages himself. Freire becomes the 2nd leader of the UCI's new ProTour competition, bumping Paris-Nice winner Bobby Julich.
Mario Cipollini was 2nd on the day, and Gerolsteiner's Danilo Hondo, who has factored in almost every sprint in a sprinter's tour, was 3rd.
The overall top 10:
1. Oscar Freire (Rabobank), 32:37:19
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), at 9 secs
3. Fabrizio Guidi (Phonak), at 25 secs
4. Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), at 25 secs
5. Laurent Brochard (Bouyges Telecom), at 33 secs
6. George Hincapie (Discovery Channel), at 36 secs
7. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Liberty Seguros), at 37 secs
8. Marcus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), at 40 secs
9. Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), at 40 secs
10. Andreas Klier (T-Mobile), at 42 secs
Attention now turns to Sunday, and La Primavera, Milan-San Remo.
Eurosport notes that Robbie McEwen went down in the last 3 kms and finished at the back of the pack.
March 14, 2005
Knaven takes Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5
In a move reminiscent of his stage win in the 2003 Tour de France, QuickStep's Servais Knaven took shelter in a daylong breakaway, then soloed late to the line to take the day.
Rabobank's Oscar Freire retains the overall race leadership, leading Alessandro Petacchi and Danilo Hondo by 23 seconds with two stages to go.
Along with Knaven, the early escape included Discovery's Pavel Padrnos, CSC's Andrea Peron, Saunier Duval's Marco Pinotti, and Credit Agricole's Christophe Le Mevel.