Health Net-Maxxis rider Phil Zajicek was unable to return to racing that the Tour de Georgia this week because the UCI has yet to approve his use of the medications he takes to treat Crohn’s disease.
The medications that Zajicek is taking to help control his Crohn’s are approved for use outside of competition, according to his team. However, they require an exception from the UCI for in-competition use. His roster spot for the Tour de Georgia will be taken by veteran Kirk O’Bee.
“It’s unfortunate that Phil has this illness and has to deal with it,” said team directeur Mike Tamayo. “But we have to follow UCI rules. But Phil’s health is good, his training has been going very well and we would’ve liked to have him back for this race.”
Zajicek was diagnosed with Crohn’s on March 20th. Crohn’s is an auto-immune disease that causes areas of inflammation throughout the GI tract. The condition is exacerbated by the stress of training and competition. At present, there is no cure for the disease, but proper treatment with diet and medications can help control symptoms and achieve long-term remission.