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CYCLING

Cycling union wants ‘doper’ blackballed

A lawyer representing the International Cycling Union (UCI) has said that Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes should be made an example of for running possibly "the biggest doping network the world has ever seen".

Cycling union wants 'doper' blackballed
Marcos Serrano, here seen celebrating a stage win in the Tour de France, recently gave evidence against Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. Photo: Javier Soriano

Fuentes and four co-accused are currently on trial in Madrid charged with endangering public health by performing blood transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists.

In his summing up, lawyer Pablo Jimenez de Parga said that if they are found guilty, the sentences imposed by the court will show how committed the Spanish authorities are to eradicating doping.

"The moment has arrived where all the world will know what is the response Spain will give to this type of conduct," he told the court.

"The sentence will be analysed outside our country and they will not understand it if our eyes are closed to the reality."

Jimenez de Parga said that all five — who face up to two years in prison — should be given heavy custodial sentences worthy of "the biggest network of doping carried out not just in Spain, but possibly anywhere in the world".

Moreover, he claimed that six Spanish cyclists (Angel Vicioso, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki, Unai Osa, David Etxebarria and Marcos Serrano) who gave evidence during the trial could be charged with perjury as their testimony "denied clear evidence".

Magistrate Julia Patricia Santamaria was once again urged to release blood bags that had been confiscated from flats belonging to Fuentes for analysis, not just for the sporting sanctions that those involved may receive, but also to "prove that a crime had been committed by some of the witnesses".

The evidence given by the six named by Jimenez de Parga was also criticised by lawyers for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) for being preconceived and
incomplete.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for former cyclist Jesus Manzano, whose evidence opened the initial investigation into Fuentes' activity, repeated his call for all five to serve jail time as well as €180,000 ($233,000) to be awarded to his client in damages for the health risks the transfusions subjected him to.

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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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