Melton pro cycling team dismisses banned rider
MELTON professional cycling team Metaltek-SCOTT has been forced to dismiss a rider who missed a drugs test earlier this season.
His sacking came after UK Anti Doping (UKAD) banned the Belgian rider Marcel Six from racing for 18 months after failing to provide a urine sample following a National Tour race at Canary Wharf, in London.
Team manager Andy Swain, a former Melton Olympic Cycling Club rider, said Six had made a mistake in missing the test, but didn’t believe he was guilty of doping.
He said: “We have dismissed him because we need to be seen to be doing the right thing for our sponsors and suppliers.
“It was a tough decision to make and a rough week for the team, but we will still be going strong next year, hopefully learn from it and move onwards and upwards.”
Six told the UKAD hearing he had to rush home after receiving news of a serious family illness.
He invited a chaperone from UKAD to accompany him home and take the test there, but the offer was declined and the test put back 12 hours until the following morning.
The result was negative, as were other tests at grand prix races at Lincoln and Stockton, but under the sport’s rules, a missed test constitutes a failed test.
Swain, who has been involved in cycling for 25 years as rider, race organiser and sponsor, had sympathy for Six, one of his team’s top riders, but insisted he had no choice but to sack him.
He added: “I had no contact from British Cycling or UK Anti Doping so I didn’t think it was such a big thing.
“Then last week Marcel rang me and said it looked like he would get an 18-month ban. I hadn’t heard anything officially, but the next thing I knew Cycling Weekly were calling me for a statement.
“If you know Marcel, what happened was perfectly legitimate, but it was a massive error of judgement.”
It has attracted exactly the headlines Metaltek didn’t want after a successful debut season on the national club circuit.
The case was exacerbated by its timing, coming hot on the heels of the doping scandal surrounding disgraced seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
Swain said: “I’m not sure Marcel would want to a ride a bike anymore when you look at what some people have said.
“Some have got him down as being as guilty as Lance Armstrong which is crazy, but it would make it difficult for him to come back.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Melton
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North