Canadian Cyclist


November 11/03 7:20 am - Duquette Guilty, Italian Doping Report, Commemorative Issue

Posted by Editor on 11/11/03

Quebec News Reports

Quebec newspapers and Radio-Canada are reporting that Dr Maurice Duquette, a Quebec doctor who has been under review by the medical association for prescribing EPO to 11 different athletes, has pled guilty to prescribing and administering EPO. He has admitted to prescribing and administering EPO to an international level female cyclist and her coach. There is currently a publication ban on revealing the names of the involved patients.

Italian Report on Doping Use

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport compiles articles on doping use, which we reprint when they concern cycling.

A report compiled by the Italian "Libera" association has made the shocking claim that 400 000 Italians fork out a total of 650 million euros per year on performance- enhancing drugs in sport.

Cycling's "terrible twins" of doping products, EPO and human growth hormone, reportedly account for 300 million and 200 million euros per year respectively. These are "figures which aren't explained by the number of ill people in Italy and who really need these products," according to one of the main speakers at a "Libera" conference in Rome yesterday, Sandro Donati.

The 56 year-old former Italian athletics coach believes that 2.1 million Europeans per year now use drugs to sporting ends.

Donati is the once vilified anti-doping crusader turned Italian Olympic Committee director who - he has told pro cycling in recent weeks - now "lives in constant anxiety about his job" after a series of public outbursts against dope cheats.

According to Donati EPO sales in Italy have doubled in the past three years - " a worrying and inexplicable rise." As well as claiming that gyms have a responsibility to curb the spread of doping at grass roots level, Donati also appealed to multinational pharmaceutical companies:

"Most of these products are manufactured by the major multinational pharmaceutical companies who, with an interest in increasing the total volume of their sales, have deliberately put a surplus of products onto the market. This surplus is up to six times the real therapeutic demands of the various types of patient," Donati claimed.

Last month the president of the Italian Cycling Federation's Anti-doping Commission, Mauro Salizzoni, said that EPO abuse remained at "epidemic proportions."

"It's no coincidence that in Italy a typical, top amateur rider's salary equals exactly what it once was, plus an add-on sum which corresponds exactly to a month's supply of EPO," Salizzoni told procycling. "Organised doping may have been eradicated but riders are faced with a simple choice: they either get results or they lose their job; there's no need for a directeur sportif to spell it out."

"It's also a complete myth that heavy-duty doping is more widespread in amateur circles," Salizzoni continued. "The simple fact is that professionals have more money, and more at stake: if you can afford a pistol or a nuclear weapon, you won't chose the pistol!"

Salizzoni estimated that 75% of all EPO finishes in the hands of unscrupulous sportsmen.

Commemorative Issue Reminder

You have a little more than 2 weeks left to order your copy of the Hamilton Worlds Commemorative Issue, delivered in time for Christmas. Click on the banner or here for details and to order.


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