Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) says some athletes entering road cycling from mountain biking "were already doping"
Sport news today is dominated by the publication of the so-called CIRC report, which was set up to look into road cycling’s doping culture and allegations of corruption at the sport’s governing body, the UCI.
But deep within the 228-page document is an indication that mountain biking could have a problem too.
In a section headed “Women’s cycling and other cycling disciplines”, the report states: “The Commission was told of people who had crossed disciplines, from mountain bike to road cycling, and how one or two mountain bikers were already doping before they made the transition.”
The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) was established purely to look at road cycling, so it declines to go into any further detail. Instead it calls for further research, saying: “The Commission encourages UCI to investigate the doping situation also in other disciplines of cycling.”
There have been numerous instances of doping bans for mountain bikers in the past.
Dutch XC racer Bas van Dooren tested positive for EPO ahead of the 2002 World Championships.
Belgian rider Filip Meirhaeghe also tested positive for EPO in 2004, two days before he won the World Cup in Mont St Anne, Canada. “In order to succeed I made the wrong decisions,” he said at a press conference. “I made a mistake, but just like everyone else I’m only human. I absolutely did not want to fail at the Olympics.”
Several riders, including Michael Rasmussen and Floyd Landis, have made the transition from mountain biking to road cycling and failed drug tests later in their careers.