US cyclist banned for life
Philip Zajicek (Associated Press)
New York - American cyclist Philip Zajicek has been banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after a string of offences, including importing banned drugs and lying to an arbitration panel.
USADA said in a statement on Friday that Zajicek, 32, had confessed to buying erythropoietin (EPO) then providing false testimony at a hearing and encouraging other witnesses to lie.
"Mr Zajicek has accepted responsibility for his actions, and is aware that the severity of his sanction is a direct result of him intentionally cheating his fellow competitors and then providing false testimony in an effort to escape punishment," USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in the statement.
An arbitration panel had originally cleared Zajicek of any wrongdoing in 2010, saying USADA had not been able to prove their case.
But USADA appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Zajicek then admitted to buying the drugs and lying to the arbitration hearing.
All of his results dating back to 2007 were nullified and he was ordered to pay $5,000 to USADA for expenses associated with the case.
"This is one of several cases that came up from our investigation into a website here in the US that he (Zajicek) was importing EPO and human growth hormone," said Tygart.
"He finally did the right thing.
"This case is an example of the drug culture that is taking over a part of professional cycling that not only encourages athletes to cheat with these drugs but also to lie and do other things like encourage witnesses to."