By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
The International Sports Arbitration Tribunal (TAS) decided on a six-month suspension, but retroactive to November 24, 2000, and with three months of the sentence suspended, for French mountain biker Jérôme Chiotti. Chiotti admitted last April that he won the 1996 world mountain-bike championships while taking the performance enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO). The French cycling federation (FFC) had suspended Chiotti for one year beginning July 11, 2000, but the Union Cycliste International appealed that punishment to TAS in August. The UCI challenged the initial French sanction because it hopes that national federations would consider treating cases of spontaneous admission of doping different from traditional doping cases.
The dates of the suspension are problematic, since Chiotti competed in several cyclo-cross races since November 24. “Applying the penalty poses a problem,” FFC president Daniel Baal said. “This much is certain, that Jérôme Chiotti is suspended until February 24.”