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News briefs: Vogels signs; Tough Aussie customs

The Navigators cycling team has announced the signing of former Mercury star Henk Vogels and Justin Spinelli of Saeco to its roster for the coming season.Vogels, winner of the 2000 First Union USPRO Championships, brings eight years of professional experience to the team. The 29-year-old Australian moved to the United States in 2000 to ride for the Mercury team after a successful career in Europe.Navigators team director Ed Beamon said the addition of Vogels and Spinelli will help the team as it tries to expand its program in the coming year. “Henk brings an enormous amount of experience, and

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Photo: AFP (file photo)

The Navigators cycling team has announced the signing of former Mercury star Henk Vogels and Justin Spinelli of Saeco to its roster for the coming season.Vogels, winner of the 2000 First Union USPRO Championships, brings eight years of professional experience to the team. The 29-year-old Australian moved to the United States in 2000 to ride for the Mercury team after a successful career in Europe.Navigators team director Ed Beamon said the addition of Vogels and Spinelli will help the team as it tries to expand its program in the coming year. “Henk brings an enormous amount of experience, and adds tremendous depth to the squad, especially as we pursue international exposure,” Beamon said. “I think Justin is one of the most experienced young riders in America. Both guys have a great attitude, and superb team capabilities and should really work well in our team dynamic.”The team will also feature 10 returning members of its 2002 squad: Chris Baldwin
Siro Camponogara
Vassili Davidenko
Oleg Grichkine
Ryan Guay
Glen Mitchell
Marty Nothstein
Ciaran Power
Burke Swindlehurst
Mark WaltersAussie officials confiscate Olympian’s supplements
Australian Customs officials have confiscated a six-month supply of nutritional substances that the Olympic 400-meter champion Cathy Freeman ordered from the United States. According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald officials stopped the delivery of some 30 substances, all of which are legal nutritional items that the 29-year-old Freeman had been using to supplement her diet during heavy training periods.The incident had caused her to pause and rethink about her use of supplements, which cost her $200 a week before the Sydney Olympic Games, she said. “It could be a blessing in disguise because I am getting used to the idea that maybe I don’t need them,” she said.Sports drug authorities and Olympic officials have warned of the dangers of supplements. Some are tainted with the steroid Nandrolone, and product information can be misleading.Freeman takes a lot of nutritional supplements but says she has “never tested positive and obviously I have never taken drugs”. Many athletes, including the sprinters Linford Christie and Merlene Ottey, failed drugs test for Nandrolone and blamed it on tainted supplements.Two time ITU World champion Olympic distance triathlete Spencer Smith endured a nightmarish 18 month period after a Nandrolone positive following his fifth place finish at Ironman Hawaii in 1998. Smith spent $100,000 in legal fees to clear his name in three hearings, all of which ruled in his favor.