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Doping- Heras chases his innocence- 11/27/05
Doping- Second Sample Confirmed- 11/25/05
Tour de France- The Ambition of Leipheimer- 11/23/05
Doping- Hamilton to be heard on January 10- 11/21/05
Doping- the FFC proposes solutions- 11/16/05
Tour of Italy- Start in Belgium in 2006- 11/12/05

Doping- Heras chases his innocence 11/27/05

Roberto Heras has not said his last word, according to the daily L’Equipe dated 24
December (sic).  After a second sample tested positive for EPO on Thursday, the lead
rider for Liberty Seguro is “a ruined rider for the moment, but he has the firm intention to
fight to prove his innocence”, according to people close to him.

While the ICU must acknowledge on Monday or Tuesday the positive tests of Heras, and
the Spanish Federation must decide what penalty to administer to the rider (two years
suspension is expected), Heras and his lawyer Jose Maria Buxeda, intent to submit an
appeal to the court of arbitration of the sport.

The lawyer intends to prove the lack of reliability in the EPO detection methods used.  
Buxera intends to base the defense on errors in the handling of the sample.  “Because
doubts exist, we would want to know exactly how the samples were transported to the
laboratory, because to my knowledge the courier who had possession of the samples did
not deliver them until Monday to the lab because the day before was Sunday and was a
holiday.  What happened with the urine samples between Saturday when the time trial took
place and Monday morning?”

Doping- Second Sample Confirmed- 11/25/05

The analysis of the second urine sample of the four-time winner of the Tour of Spain, the
Spaniard Roberto Heras, confirmed the positive results found in a previous analysis.

“In fact, it is positive”, the Liberty team spokesman said, confirming the information given
by Radio Marca.  This positive result on sample B will provoke a suspension of two years
for Roberto Heras who, at 31 years of age, would probably mean an end to his career.

He would also be stripped of his victory in the last Vuelta (Tour of Spain), which would then
go to the Russian Denis Menchov.  Heras, former lieutenant of the American Lance
Armstrong at the US Postal Service team, would lose his status as the only four-time
winner of the Tour of Spain and would revert to the same level as the Swiss Tony
Rominger, who also won three times.  Roberto Heras was tested positive for EPO during
the 20th stage of the last Vuelta.

Questioned regarding the calendar imagined for the sanctions, the spokesman for the
Liberty team stated “Nothing is decided yet, we will see when the ICU will confirm the
results”.  For the present “the rider has contested the procedures used in the sample
tests, and the ICU must render its conclusions on this subject”, he added.  “This process is
not yet finished”.  

Heras is going to have a press conference in a Madrid hotel at 5pm French time.  He has
constantly denied to have been involved in doping since the revelations of his positive
test.  “I repeat that I have never engaged in doping, not during the Vuelta, nor at any time
in my career.  I have a clear conscience, and what has happened is an error” Heras
declared on Wednesday.

The rider and his lawyer have attempted to question the method of EPO detection
employed by the laboratory of the Spanish Counsel of Sports (CSD) which was charged
with doing the second sample.  They notably made the argument that the laboratory
delayed by two days the publication of the results in order to verify and confirm them.

Tour de France- The Ambition of Leipheimer- 11/23/05

He is ambitious.  The American Levi Leipheimer, leader of the Gerolssteiner team, stated
on Wednesday that he is among “the five or six cyclists capable” of winning the Tour de
France 2006.

“I want to finish the Tour de France on the podium.  I see myself as one of the five or six
riders capable of succeeding Lance Armstrong”, declared Leipheimer during the first
gathering of the Gerolsteiner team for the 2006 season.  Leipheimer, 31 years of age,
came in 6th in the Tour de France 2005 and most notably won the Tour of Germany in
front of Jan Ullrich.

The German, winner of the Tour de France 1997, has been made the favorite to follow
Armstrong, who ended his career after having won a 7th Tour de France.  As for Hans-
Michael Holczer, sporting director of Gerolsteiner, he stated that his team “was at the
same level as the T-Mobile squad at this point”.  

“We are at this point a true enterprise”, with a budget of ten million euros, stated Holczer,
who started the Gerolsteiner team in 1999.  According to him Gerolsteiner, which won 22
victories in 2005 to finish fifth in the world team classifications, is not at all envious of the T-
Mobile team of Jan Ullrich.  “We are staying with our strategy of confidence in young
riders” declared Holczer, who was pleased to have recruited Thomas Fothen, considered
to be the biggest young hope in German cycling.

“We are not in a position to find someone as gifted as Jan Ullrich, but I have big hopes that
Thomas will be a great one”, indicated Holczer in speaking of Fothen, 23 years of age,
German junior champion in 2001.  Gerolsteiner also pointed out that Heinrich Haussler, 21
years of age and winner of a stage in the Tour of Spain 2005, and the other great young
German hope, extended his contract with the team until the end of 2008.

Doping- Hamilton to be heard on January 10- 11/21/05

There will be a second hearing in the affair Hamilton.  The American cyclist, Tyler
Hamilton, suspended for two years because of blood doping, will have have a new hearing
in Denver in January 10.

Four months after the first audience, the two parties are going to present their cases.  The
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will have several weeks to deliberate and render its
final decision.  The rider in June decided to go to the CAS, the last jurisdictional court of
appeals for sports, in the hope of overturning his sanction.

Hamilton, found to be guilty of blood doping the day following his victory in the individual
time trial in the Tour of Spain 2004, was immediately suspended by his Swiss team,
Phonak, which fired him.  He was later suspended for two years by the American
Antidoping Agency (USADA) on April 18 after a long legal battle.

Doping- the FFC proposes solutions- 11/16/05

The French Cycling Federation (FFC) on Tuesday proposed measures to improve anti-
doping procedures in the short term to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Cycling Union (ICU), and the French
Minister of Sport.  The letter from the FFC, signed by its president, Jean Pitallier, and his
federal physician, Armand, Megret, proposes concrete measures regarding medical
testing and the fight against doping in general.

In the first part of the letter, the FFC suggests that doctors can declare that anomalies
exist in suspected cases of manipulations and can demand additional samples on an
unscheduled basis.  It differentiates between medicines used for care and for performance
enhancement and suggests a network of European laboratories be named which would
work in a systematic way with the same equipment to provide a standard protocol.  

As for the fight against doping, the FFC is favorable to disciplinary action “in cases of
proven biological anomalies, even those detected by indirect methods, which indicate
manipulation by banned substances or methods”.  The FFC is also asking that a third
urine sample be taken and stored for later analysis, as detection methods of laboratories
improve over time, as well as stronger enforcement of unscheduled sampling “including
samples taken at the start of major competitions”.

“We are preoccupied with the fight against doping”, emphasized Jean Pitallier, pointing out
that these propositions are the conclusions of meetings with the French professional
cycling league.  The subject of anti-doping will be among the points of discussion that the
French leaders will undertake with the ICU and its new president, Pat McQuaid, during a
working visit scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at Aigle, the home of the ICU.

Tour of Italy- Start in Belgium in 2006- 11/12/05

The Giro will depart on May 6th from the small Belgian village of Seraing.  The 89th edition
will finish on the Corso Venezia, in the center of historic Milan.

In the program of this race of 3,553 km:  21 stages, including 3 individual time trials, one
team time trail, and the last in two sections.  For the 8th time in its history, the Giro will
detour outside its borders.  The first four stages will be disputed in Belgium (the last at
Charleroi for the 60th anniversary of the mining catastrophe in Marcinelle on 8 August,
1956).  Then the caravan will move into Switzerland and Austria.  There will be two rest
days.  The list of the teams chosen to participate will be published on March 1, 2006.

In another new addition, the director of the course Angelo Zomegnan and his collaborators
have traced out, especially in the second part of the race, a circuit that is very
mountainous which can only make the strong men smile.  They will need to be strong
climbers, certainly, but also must be able to manage their resources.  They will have to
cross the Forcella Staulanza (1173 m), the Passo Pordoi (2239 m), the Passo Fedaia
(2057 m,  and the Passo San Pellegrino (1918 m) all in the 19th stage alone.  The
following day will include crossing the mythical Passo Tonale (1883 m), Passo Gavia (2618
m) and above all the Mortirolo (1854 m), which is terrible with greater than 12% gradient in
the last kilometers.  

Shorten the grand tours
This edition, which will also celebrate the 110th anniversary of the creation of the daily
Gazzetta dello sport, will stay in the Wallone (Belgium) for the first four days.  After the
prologue in Seraing, the first three stages will lead the caravan through
Charleroi/Marcinelle, Namur, and Hotton.

As an adjunct to the announcement ceremony, the former world champion Francesco
Moser, president of the international association of riders, reintroduced the idea of
shortening the grand stage race tours, reducing the number of stages and the mileage.  
“To shorten the grand tours would allow the riders a more rational race schedule of 80-85
days per season” according to the association, addressing itself to the ICU (International
Cycling Union).

The riders also listed a number of complaints addressed to the ICU regarding the last Tour
of Lombardy, notably the passage through 3 unlit tunnels, the passage of the race route
through a section of road in a bad state of repairs which did not correspond to the criteria
set for an event that is part of the Pro-Tour.
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