News24

George admits to doping

2012-11-06 17:01

Johannesburg - Cycling champion David George on Tuesday admitted to having used the banned drug EPO (Erythropoietin) and said he was prepared to suffer the consequences.

"I will not be asking for a B sample to be tested as I know the result will ultimately be the same," George said in a statement.

"I fully understand the consequences of my admission and will bear the results of this."

George tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test conducted by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) on August 29.

"Cycling, as you know, has been a confusing space and although it has given me incredible moments it has also given me experiences that no person or young athlete should have to go through," George said.

"I would like to apologise to my sponsors, who have given me every opportunity to chase a dream, and team-mates, for whom I have the utmost respect. I will endeavour to make right where humanly possible."

One of South Africa's top cyclists, he is a former Olympian, a podium finisher in the Cape Epic, and a former Lance Armstrong team-mate on the United States Postal Service Cycling team 1999-2000.

EPO is a hormone which increases the red blood cell count, thereby increasing the athlete's oxygen-carrying capacity and enhancing performance.

"The drug is especially beneficial in endurance sports where athletes are competing over long distances in sports like cycling, running and triathlon," SAIDS CEO Khalid Galant said.

"We had warned the sports community a year ago that we would be vigorous in our testing of both blood and urine of our top athletes. We will continue to aggressively target EPO dopers."

George was suspended with immediate effect from competing in any event while the SAIDS process took its course, said Cycling SA.

"We respect the independence of the SAIDS process and will respect the outcome," Cycling SA president William Newman said.

"Cycling SA further reiterates its zero-tolerance to doping in sport, and confirms that there is no evidence of this being an endemic problem in the sport in South Africa."

Meanwhile, Nedbank reacted to the news of George's positive doping test, by suspending its sponsored professional cycling team, Team 360Life, for which he rode.

"The suspension of the team will continue until further notice," spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe said in a statement.

She said Nedbank did not tolerate the use of banned substances or performance-enhancing drugs and supported the SAIDS, Cycling SA and Union Cycliste International in promoting clean conduct in the sport.

SAPA

Comments
  • andre.bekker.986 - 2012-11-06 17:14

    and now for some other high profile riders............in SA ?

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-06 17:38

      George, while upset about your doping, I thank you for coming clean and not lying further to the public.

      donovan.jackson.37 - 2012-11-06 22:11

      Indeed. And David George, you want to make right? Tell us where you got it, from whom, and who else is using it. Because it isn't just you. It's all of you who disappear up the road after the first hill, leaving a second group puffing and panting behind you, a group that no matter how hard the individuals train, can never keep up.

      albert.m.burger - 2012-11-07 00:05

      I blame the spandex

      wayne.redman.7 - 2012-11-07 07:09

      He only came out and admitted he had been doping once he had been caught (Read the article--tested positive on the 29th August)--there is no honour in this man--he just as bad as the others and is trying to save face

  • Skwertno1 - 2012-11-06 17:21

    David George Tests Positive for EPO Doping I sold this lad his 1st cannondale in 1990. a fool youve b'cum, you & Lance anger me immensely Lance Armstrong & David George comrades in the arm. sis man... jou vuil goed, you both have dirtyed the sport that many LOVE

      phae.rayden - 2012-11-06 18:01

      Not sure why you have received thumbs down for your comment, sounds like you part of the sport and must feel totally betrayed by these scum.

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-11-06 17:22

    EVERYBODY in competitive cycling does. Predominantly EPO during training so that it does not show up during the race (with risk of out-of-competition tests) and then with blood transfusions during competitions (own blood, previously stored and then used cannot be traced). It is 12 years after he was in Lance's team, so no blaming him. Lance was just simply the best of the rest who all doped (Fignon (admitted) and Le Monde (still not admitting after a remarkable comeback against Fignon, who doped). The trick is to not get caught - and Lance was the best at that.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-06 17:39

      The real trick is to stay drug free... Stop condoning criminal behavior. Huge sums of money were (and are) at stake. Common criminality.

      deleagagu - 2012-11-06 17:49

      Interesting!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-11-06 17:56

      pilot, not condoning it but fact remains that the dopers will always be 9 years ahead of the test 0 because of big money that is involved. The UCI chief admitted some time ago that they have to look the other way because spectators pay to see 48km/h speeds en not 28km/h (something to that extent). I also have an issue with races that requires super-human effort - something like the TDF - perhaps just too tough and the reason why various forms of doping was prevalent since 1903? A family member did the TDF route with a motorbike over the same number of days as the tour and found it to be "tough". Maybe the challenge must be adapted to afford riders who do not take anything to be competitive?

  • deleagagu - 2012-11-06 17:33

    This is really bad for cycling. Amstrong and now this dude? What is wrong with hardwork??

      adriaan.olivier.589 - 2012-11-06 23:25

      They still work hard, EPO won't suddenly make you superhuman and super fit. But I do wonder if some of these guys aren't "forced" to dope in a way because it is so prevalent in the sport of cycling that if you don't do it as well you will be left behind by aaaalllllllll the other riders who dope and get away with it. The sport needs a serious overhaul to ensure that EVERYONE is clean, you can't have some guys getting caught and thousands getting away with it.

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-11-06 17:38

    All about the money at the end of the day.

  • gazaspells - 2012-11-06 17:44

    why did they have to suspend sponsorship to the whole team, people's livelihood at stake here

      shaun.campbell.9275 - 2012-11-06 22:12

      sponsorship is a company's effort to create a positive image, with the intent of increasing organisational awareness, thus increasing their customer base, which results in profits... Has nothing to do with ethics... Suspending the TEAM (not sponsorship) is their attempt to show the public that they have higher-value, restoring a positive image. Withdrawal of sponsorship leaves a bad taste, where "dealing with the issue correctly" is the smart thing to do... Looks good and keeps the public on their side.

  • Bertverlinde - 2012-11-06 18:10

    Hey George, an apology is not enough, you should come clean about when you started doing drugs, how many times you've done it, drug suppliers, other drug users etc. That's coming clean.

      carel.vandermerwe.756 - 2012-11-06 20:17

      Great idea, oppen the can of worms

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-11-06 18:55

    Very dissapointing,I thought SA athletes were better than this,I think he needs to spill the beans on the others and the suppliers

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-11-06 19:11

    I do road running. It takes a lot of hard work and many months of training just to get under 40 minutes for a 10km race. I will be VERY upset if the winner or even the first 10 runners in a major race is not tested for drugs.

  • ptolemy.leonardo - 2012-11-06 19:16

    I wonder about horse racing. There is a lot of money involved and does anybody test the horses? What about pigeon racing?

      adriaan.olivier.589 - 2012-11-06 23:31

      I do competitive snail racing, there's no money involved (only a plastic cup of beer if you're lucky) but I pump those little b@stards up with EPO 'till they sprint like a bat out of hell! My champion is called Lanc (minus the "e" due to cancelling the endorsement deal with that ugly doper Lance!!)....now at least I have a name for his lady friend too.....

  • edmund.deane.37 - 2012-11-06 19:50

    Do u think winning could be the same high as taking cocaine or crystlemeth? Maybe it could become an addiction

  • bj.pieman - 2012-11-06 19:57

    Disappointing, but good for him for taking it like a man now.

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-06 20:23

    Sorry George you as bad as a pusher!!

  • robes.spear - 2012-11-06 20:43

    George & Armstrong should both be prosecuted for criminal fraud perpetrated on the public & their sponsor for material financial gain. That will clean up the sport.

  • handy.andy.3990 - 2012-11-07 15:06

    Lance Armstrong - this is how you man up to being caught out.

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