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Rock Racing rider is fighting USADA over testing of B sample
By Neal Rogers
In a sworn affidavit obtained by VeloNews, dated October 27 and filed with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Suzanne Sonye says Leogrande confided that he had used testosterone gel, had taken “lots of things,” including EPO, and that he had put soap on his wrist prior to entering a doping control at Superweek, hoping that by urinating on the soap, it would “f— up the test.”A former team soigneur says Rock Racing’s Kayle Leogrande told her last July that he used performance-enhancing drugs at Wisconsin’s International Cycling Classic, also known as Superweek.
Rock Racing issued a statement by team owner Michael Ball: “Rock Racing supports all of our riders. We live by the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty. Kayle Leogrande has denied the allegations regarding an alleged admission by him of an anti-doping event. We are asking that everyone respect the proper process. If there is a finding of a doping violation, we will address it internally and determine the appropriate course of action that should be taken. As always, Rock Racing subscribes to the highest principles of conduct as well as fairness and we stand by those principles.”
Leogrande filed suit anonymously last month, trying to stop USADA from testing a B sample of his urine. He sued after learning the agency planned to test the sample, even though an A sample was negative, to establish a doping case against him. The suit charges that by telling race organizers and the UCLA testing lab that he is under investigation, the agency was damaging his reputation and ability to compete in races and secure sponsors.
USADA won’t talk about ongoing cases. However, USADA general counsel Bill Bock told VeloNews that testing a B sample after a negative A sample “is not prohibited, and certainly we believe it to be permissible.”
Indeed, evidence such as Sonye’s testimony is admissible under provisions of the WADA code that allow the use of non-analytical evidence (that is, more than just lab results) to establish a doping violation.
Sonye told mechanic Jordan Schware about what she said Leogrande had told her, and Schware told her to contact team managers, which she did, according to the affidavit.
Schware confirmed the conversation to VeloNews.
A former professional cyclist who rode with the Saturn women’s team, Sonye joined Rock Racing in July 2007. She resigned last month, soon after former director Frankie Andreu left the team.
Andreu said Sunday that he applauds Sonye’s decision to cooperate with officials investigating the case against Leogrande, the 2006 U.S. criterium champion.
“I fully support Suzanne Sonye’s cooperation with USADA,” Andreu told VeloNews. “It has taken courage for her to step forward and do the right thing. Doping cannot and should not be tolerated in sport any longer. Cycling is doing more than any other sport to rid itself of the perils and evils of doping. It’s because of people within the sport like Suzanne that will change the climate in cycling to one of clean and fair competition.”