George can 'name and shame'
David George (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - David George can reveal how and when he took the blood-boosting drug EPO and if he used it when he raced with Lance Armstrong over a decade ago, South Africa's doping body said on Wednesday.
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Khalid Galant, chief executive of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), said that George had the opportunity to give evidence at a hearing after admitting to using EPO in August.
George faces a two-year ban after his "unprecedented" admission, Galant said, but any information he gave on a date yet to be decided would be taken into account.
"He can name people," Galant said.
SAIDS had no evidence against George before his positive from an out-of-competition test in August, and no authority to question him on events before that.
But Galant said the former South African Olympic rider and two-time Commonwealth Games medalist was still free to tell how and when he received the drug - and if he was using it when he rode for the disgraced Armstrong on his US Postal Service team in 1999 and 2000.
"He can come forward and tell how he received the drug, if there was an infrastructure. We treat that confidentially." Galant said.
Galant warned, however, that SAIDS had no interest in a "soap opera" case like that of Armstrong, who was last month banned for life for doping by the International Cycling Union following a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
The American also was formally stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, wiping out the career of one of cycling's most celebrated riders.
Other former team-mates of the American testified against him in the USADA report, which said Armstrong used steroids, EPO and blood transfusions.
Armstrong is also being investigated by the International Olympic Committee over the bronze medal he won at the Sydney Games in 2000.
George admitted using EPO on Tuesday soon after his positive test was announced by SAIDS and said he would not challenge the finding because he knew the 'B' sample result would be the same. He was suspended by Cycling South Africa.
Galant said George's confession in a statement sent to SAIDS and made public by the rider was unprecedented in South African sport.
"It took me by surprise," Galant said. "An athlete publicly admitting to doping."
George has lost two of his sponsors since admitting to doping, and Galant said George would have to pay back the R125 000 in prize money from a race he won after he tested positive. His place on the podium from that race would also be "rescinded", Galant said.