British Cycling confirmed this afternoon that, following on from the earlier UCI announcement regarding the backdated suspension of Gregory Baugé, the sport’s governing body has been confirmed that Jason Kenny is the 2011 World Sprint Champion.
Speaking of the announcement, Jason said: “The news came as quite a surprise and whilst it’s an honour to get my first senior World Championship title, I would have preferred to have achieved it under different circumstances. I am looking forward to riding the rest of the season wearing the rainbow jersey.”
The decision also means that Germany are the World Team Sprint Champions with Sir Chris Hoy inheriting Kenny’s Sprint Silver medal and Great Britain taking Silver in the team event.
According to the UCI, following the decision by the Fédération Française de Cyclisme’s (FFC) National Disciplinary Commission on November 8th, “to inflict a one-year backdated suspension – from December 23rd 2010 to December 22nd 2011 – on Grégory Baugé for violation of article 21.4 of the UCI Anti-doping Regulation (two breaches of applicable requirements regarding rider availability and one missed test in 18 months) the UCI today informed the FFC that all the results obtained by the rider and by any team of which he was a member during that period have been nullified by this decision (art. 12.1.032.1 and art. 12.1.035)
“The UCI is therefore obliged to correct the results of the events in which Grégory Baugé participated during this period. As a consequence, the rider and the French team lose their individual sprint and team sprint titles won at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in March 2011.”
The story, though, is a little more complicated than that. Bauge was stripped of the titles because he was banned at the time of the World Championships and was therefore ineligible. He didn’t know that at the time, of course, because the ban wasn’t actually imposed until the 8th of November 2011 – eight months after he won the titles – but, because the offences occurred before the Worlds (the last of them in December 2010), the FFC backdated the ban to run from December 2010 to December 2011.
The way the process is then supposed to work is that FFC is supposed to send the ajudication to the UCI – within eight working days – and they, in turn pass on the information on to WADA and the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD). As far as we can tell, though, nobody was notified until the 6th of January.
It probably explains why Baugé didn’t compete at the last round of the Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia in December – he was banned. Nobody knew he was banned, though, and he told the French cycling press that he had tendinitis in he quads. He may well have had, of course, but it wouldn’t have made any difference – and it wasn’t the reason why he didn’t compete.
On the surface of it, it appears that the FFC thought they’d been rather clever – and certainly didn’t expect the UCI to strip Baugé (and Sireau and D’Almeida) of their titles. The press release they sent out following the UCI’s decision ‘notes the unilateral decision of the UCI’ which, it says, goes against the decision of its National Disciplinary Commission’s decision which ‘expressly ruled out the invalidity of any results’. It also seems to accept, grudgingly, that the decision is final, with no recourse to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
Quite how the FFC thought it could ban Baugé retrospectively and not have him lose the titles is anybody’s guess. Article 313 of the UCI rulebook, by which the FFC is bound does provide a ‘get out’ in Comment 1, where a rider can’t be disqualified if such a disqualification would be unfair because the results were ‘not likely to be affected by the Rider’s anti-doping rule violation’. But the results were likely to have been affected; the last violation occurred four months before the Worlds, so he was ineligible – he shouldn’t have been there!
Disqualification of Results in Competitions subsequent to Anti-Doping Rule Violation
313. In addition to the automatic Disqualification of the results in the Competition pursuant to article 288 and except as provided in articles 289 to 292, all other competitive results obtained from the date a positive Sample was collected (whether In-Competition or Out-of-Competition) or other anti-doping rule violation occurred, through the commencement of any Provisional Suspension or Ineligibility period, shall, unless fairness requires otherwise, be Disqualified.
Comment: 1) it may be considered as unfair to disqualify the results which were not likely to have been affected by the Rider’s anti-doping rule violation.
2) an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under article 21.4 shall be deemed to have occurred on the date of the third Whereabouts Failure found by the hearing panel to have occurred.
The two remaining questions would seem to be 1) why was he at the Worlds when somebody within the FFC or the AFLD must have known he’d hit his quota of three missed tests and 2) why did it take 11 months for the ban to be put in place? What does seem clear is that the ban is now over and Baugé is eligible for both the 2012 World Championships and the Olympics and, although any ranking points earned by Baugé – and any Team Sprint points were he was a participant – have been wiped out, the French team should still have plenty in hand to qualify.
We suspect we haven’t heard the last of this one – even if only in further calls for an update to the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) whereabouts system.