March 1/05 2:52 am - Roland Green Receives Suspension
Posted by Editor on 03/1/05
Roland Green Receives Suspension
It will be announced shortly by the UCI that two-time world champion Roland Green has received a six month suspension after testing positive for a banned substance last May at the Houffalize World Cup race in Belgium. We spoke with Roland earlier today regarding the circumstances surrounding his suspension.
Canadian Cyclist - So how did this happen, exactly?
Roland Green - At the Houffalize World Cup last year I was picked for a random (test), and they detected my asthma inhaler (medication). I've been cleared to use it for the last 6 years, but I didn't have the paperwork in (for 2004); it was totally my fault for not getting it in.
CC - Given the circumstances - that you have a history of using an inhaler - it seems a little harsh to give you a suspension rather than a warning.
RG - Yeah, I wasn't given the benefit of any doubt, for sure. There were two other (athletes), in Judo and Swimming, I think, who had the same thing (inhalers), and they were let off with warnings. I guess it is just because it is cycling that they were being tough.
We did our best in presenting the case. The CCA backed me 100% - Sean O'Donnell (CCA High Performance) provided a lot of support. My doctor testified that the inhaler was strictly to reduce inflammation in the lungs, and that there was no performance enhancing (ability), but they didn't give any relief.
CC - You said that the suspension is 6 months - when does it end?
RG - There is this complicated formula to figure out when it starts and ends, but the bottom line is that it ends April 4th.
CC - So how does this affect the start of your season?
RG - Well, my first race now will be Sea Otter. It has had a bit of an effect on how I am planning my season, it will definitely be a slower start. I'm on track, but missing the first few races, and especially Redlands, will mean a slower start to the year. I had a really good three weeks training in Santa Rosa (California) - I rode a lot with Levi (Leipheimer - Gerolsteiner), got some really good miles in, but now I need some racing miles.
CC - You are coming off a rough season last year, with sickness and missing the Olympics. This can't have helped.
RG - It is really unfortunate, especially after last year. I heard in early June, but the positive had nothing to do with ending my season (after the Calgary World Cup), it was not a factor. I had chronic pneumonia, which was next to impossible to clear up. Part of it is just getting out of the hole that you find yourself in when you keep training and racing.
I went to the States and saw a bunch of specialists, and my body is clear of it now, it just takes time. It would have been easy to pack it in last year, and I thought about it, but I just wasn't ready for that. But, the suspension will be over before you know it, and I will put it behind me.
CC - You've just signed with Kona, everything is still okay there?
RG - Of course, Kona wasn't happy about this, but they've been very supportive, and everything is fine. Everybody - my sponsors, friends and family - have been very supportive through this ordeal.
CC - How's your motivation to race?
RG - Just pin a number on me.