French ban scrapped but future uncertain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

French ban scrapped but future uncertain

By John Coomber and John Salvado 12/07/2005 07:09:55 PM Comments (0)

Former junior world champion sprint cyclist Mark French has been cleared of doping allegations which cost him a place in the Athens Olympics.

French is now free to return to the sport and to compete for Australia in future Olympic Games.

But the episode, which stretched over three independent inquiries and two court hearings, has left him so disillusioned he is contemplating walking away from the sport at the tender age of 20.

"No-one is going to be able to replace the last 18 months of my life - how can you give the Olympics back?" French said during a tearful Melbourne media conference with his father David.

"Unless I want (to return), I won't go for it.

"It's something I need to sit down and think about because once you do it you've got to do it full on."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the two-year ban and a $1000 fine imposed on French last year after needles and phials were found in a bucket in his room at the Australian Institute of Sport's cycling facility in Adelaide in December 2003.

The case blew into one of the biggest doping scandals in Australian sporting history, dragging in many of the country's elite track cyclists as they prepared for the Athens Games.

After considering French's appeal, the court said there was evidence someone had used the banned horse growth hormone eGH at the Del Monte facility in Adelaide, but not enough to say that it was French or anyone else.

French had also admitted self-injecting the dietary supplement Testicomp, which is labelled as containing the banned substance glucocorticosteroid and phials of it were found in the bucket.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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