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Eadie appeals drug-trafficking charges

Australian former world sprint champion Sean Eadie launched an appeal on Tuesday, one day after Olympic and cycling officials accused him of trafficking in banned performance-enhancing drugs. Eadie, 35, has been nominated to race at the Athens Games next month but now risks being dropped from the team if he cannot defend himself against the charge. His manager, Kerry Ruffels, said appeal papers had been lodged with Australia's Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney. Cycling Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Monday issued Eadie an infraction notice after customs

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By Agence France Presse

Australian former world sprint champion Sean Eadie launched an appeal on Tuesday, one day after Olympic and cycling officials accused him of trafficking in banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Eadie, 35, has been nominated to race at the Athens Games next month but now risks being dropped from the team if he cannot defend himself against the charge. His manager, Kerry Ruffels, said appeal papers had been lodged with Australia’s Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sydney.

Cycling Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Monday issued Eadie an infraction notice after customs officers reported intercepting a package, addressed to him, containing banned and as-yet-undetectable drugs sent through the mail five years ago from the United States.

Australian law at the time did not permit customs to inform cycling officials of the find, but the agency says it did inform Eadie by letter. The law has since been changed.

The AOC said the package contained 16 tablets containing anterior pituitary peptides, a sub-class of peptide hormones, which are prohibited as performance-enhancing substances.

Ruffels said Eadie had no knowledge of the package, allegedly mailed to him from a company in San Diego, California.

“He’s appealing immediately, but at the same time he hasn’t got the papers, nor has he seen any of this alleged correspondence from customs,” Ruffels said.

He said Eadie did not recall receiving two letters that the customs service says it sent to him in February and April 1999 informing him that it had intercepted the package and would destroy its contents.

“On April 30 he knows he wasn’t even around. He’s worked out he was in Japan,” Ruffels said.

If he is unable to defend himself, Eadie would be the third Olympic hopeful to be dropped from the Athens line-up for breaching anti-doping regulations.

The drugs scandal prompted the AOC to suspend naming any Olympic teams until doping officials clear the nominees. It also banned all athletes from self-injecting any substance without medical clearance.