Rider Takes To Self-Suspension

Leading South African rider Brandon Stewart has suspended himself over serious doping row for 11 months with Saids. The news has been confirmed by Stewart’s squad FedGroup.

The SA rider’s self-suspension is surely one of the most shocking incidents nit only in cycling but also in the wider sports world.

Last October, the FedGroup rider was informed about testing positive with a banned drug post a routine testing regimen taken 4 months earlier. South Africa Cycling also warned him about the possibility of being banned from pro cycling.

However, Stewart’s sponsors defended him saying that the “positive” result is due to the cyclist’s consumption of a clinically needed testosterone treatment – that he had already reported to the institute whilst appealing for therapeutic-use exemption. The athletes who are clinically required to consume banned substances are allowed to contend provided they have an approved exemption from their national anti-drug bodies.

“We are on full support of the initiatives aimed to achieve a drug-free sports scenario in South Africa. Brandon’s unpleasant tryst with the testing has culminated into voluntary self-suspension that can bring in serious negative kicks for the sport as a whole”, stated Scott Field, the CEO of FedGroup.

As per the reports from Stewart’s squad, the rider consulted a physician a year back following severe depression and mood swing experience on which he was advised to up his reduced testosterone levels. He consulted Anique Coetzee, the exemption liaison officer from Saids and she recommended the Nebido testosterone treatment to him. Stewart then further applied online requesting for the needed exemption for the medication.

Coetzee assured Stewart in writing that-“whilst the response for the application is pending, he is allowed to take up the treatment & continue racing.”

After 2 months of the application, the rider received an e-mail stating that Saids had decline his application.

2014 Tour de France

Mark Cavendish, nicknamed the “Manx Missile” is known to be the fastest sprint cyclist of the world. With a victory of 25 Tour de France stages in his career of road cycling, the cyclist stands 3rd among the winners in the all time list of Tour de France. In the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, an MBE was awarded to Mark, for his services to British Cycling.

With all the honours and popularity up his sleeves, the Great Britain’s Cyclist’s focus right now is on the Tour de France of 2014 that is coming to UK. Mark Cavendish feels, in his own words, “super excited” about the event. The first stage of the event is believed to finish in Harrogate, which is luckily the home town of the Cyclist’s mother. Mark believes this will surely give him a chance to sport the yellow jersey of the sport leader for the first time.

The fast cyclist’s excitement does not just end till the Tour de France of 2014 but he aspires to content in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio and will compete to win an Olympic Medal. Cavendish won two stages in the Tour of Britain this year (2013). This victory took the overall tally of the Mark Cavendish to 25. He won the stage 4, leaving behind Elia Viviani in Snowdonia’s Llanberis. After 3 days he took victory in stage 7, outsprinting Elia Viviani once again and finishing on Guildford High Street. However, although the cyclist does not rule out the possibility of competing for Great Britain and to the Olympic track team of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games; he says, this would depend to a large extent on the harmony of his preparations with his road racing, probably reminding himself of his contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step whose manager wants him to completely concentrate on the road.

Thomas gearing up for a successful World Championship

Geraint Thomas, the young Welsh rider who got badly injured in 2013 Tour de France confirmed that he is prepping high for a successful venture with Team Sky at the upcoming World Championships. Thomas unfortunately fractured his pelvic bone in the first stage of Tour France but the brave 27-year-old did not give up till the final lap of the race.

In fact, it was Thomas’ enormous perseverance and strong will that helped Froome to win on the hundredth season of the world’s most elite cycling championship. Geraint’s pelvis healed in spite of being towed over Alpine tracks where Chris was dominant & the Welsh rider was prescribed for complete rest for a couple of weeks, following the France Tour.

Presently, Thomas is all back in thorough training & is focusing on success with his team in trade-team time-trial event at World Road Cycling Championships. The World Championships is scheduled to hit off in Florence from September 22. He also hopes to support Chris’ bid for rainbow jersey 8 days later.

The Olympic gold medalist anticipates a very challenging competition in the World Championships in the coming month. “There are a huge bunch of amazing bikers who are able to perform well on the circuit”, stated Thomas. “When Cavendish won, you can narrow down to 3 or 4 sprinters that would be able to win. This season there would be more number of riders & higher attacks. There is super strong Italy, the Colombians, the Spanish & Australia. Then there would be people like Chavanel (France’s Sylvain) & people out of Vuelta are going well”.

However, Thomas is hopeful that the hilly Florence track would be compatible with Froome’s riding. “It’s a long race over the hills and hence would definitely suit Froome. It’s our job to take him to the winning point”, Thomas stressed.


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