It's official: Arnaud Jouffroy will move up two steps to claim the U23 World Championship © Bart Hazen

by Josh Liberles

While Floyd Landis’ leaked emails are creating quite the firestorm within the ProTour regarding athletes and officials involved with the US Postal Service, Discovery and Phonak teams, the UCI is just now resolving the biggest doping bust ever to hit cyclocross. Brothers Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak tested positive for using the banned performance enhancing drug EPO (erythropoietin) during the 2010 U23 World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic. The UCI has just handed down a four-year suspension with €1,680 fine to Kacper and an eight-year suspension with a €750 fine to Pawel.

Apparently any earlier debate about whether a rider who hadn’t gone through doping controls after the race could be promoted to the podium has been resolved. Arnaud Jouffroy of France has been promoted from bronze to gold, with Belgium’s Tom Meeusen claims silver and Poland’s Marek Konwa the bronze. As Meeusen pointed out early on following the doping revelations, the race would have unfolded much differently without the brothers’ enhanced abilities. (See Meeusen’s and others’ initial responses here). Now, the trio will receive their recognition more than three months after the fact, and far away from any podium presentations.

The two Polish brothers shared an awkward, cold moment on the top of the World’s podium in February – the sport’s highest stage – before reality came crashing down on them. After the doping test results were released, the younger brother, Kacper, was rumored to have attempted suicide, which his older brother subsequently denied. Pawel Szczepaniak then came forward with an admission of guilt. Sort of. He claimed that the brothers were misled and didn’t know what they were taking.

The full UCI press release, which includes rulings and specifics regarding other road and MTB racers who have recently been busted for doping, is below:

Description: The UCI has informed the riders Mickael Larpe (FRA) and Alessandro Coló (ITA) that they are provisionally suspended.

The decision to provisionally suspend Mr Larpe was made in response to a report from the WADA-accredited Châtenay-Malabry Laboratory indicating an adverse analytical finding (presence of recombinant EPO) in a blood sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Cholet-Pays de Loire race on 20 March 2010.

The decision to provisionally suspend Mr Coló was taken following the receipt of a report from the WADA-accredited Los Angeles Laboratory indicating an abnormal analysis finding (presence of clenbuterol) in a urine sample taken from the rider during an in-competition test conducted at the Tour of Mexico conducted on 25 April 2010.

The provisional suspensions of Mr Larpe and Mr Coló remain in force until hearings convened by the riders’ National Federations determine whether they breached the UCI Anti-Doping Rules in accordance with Article 21 of the Rules.

Mr Larpe and Mr Coló have the right to request and attend the analyses of their B samples.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.

In addition, the UCI announces that following its request to open proceedings against the riders listed below, the relevant national organisations have delivered the following sanctions (suspensions and/or fines):

•     Thomas Dekker (NED): 2 years.

•     Mikel Astarloza (ESP): 2 years and €154,570.

•     Hector Guerra Garcia (ESP): 2 years and €35,000.

•     Gabriele Bosisio (ITA): 2 years and €9,625.

•     Kacper Szczepaniak (POL): 4 years and €1,680.

•     Pawel Szczepaniak (POL): 8 years and €750.

•     Alberto Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos (ESP): 2 years and €42,000.

•     Isidro Nozal Vega (ESP) : 2 years and €17,500.

Further information on these cases (suspension period, possible disqualification) are available on the UCI website.

Following the disqualification of the brothers Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak from the 2010 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, where they finished in first and second place respectively in the Under-23 Men category, the victory goes to the French rider Arnaud Jouffroy. Tom Meeusen (BEL) and Marek Konwa (POL) complete the podium.

UCI Press Services