Posts tagged ‘Steegmans’
Gert Steegmans is being supported financially by Dutch cycling component manufacturer BBB while he looks for a new team, following a possible contract annulment with Team Katusha on Wednesday. The Belgian has also claimed that the Russian ProTour team put too much pressure on him to return to racing after a back injury in May.
“We are glad to help Gert in his distress,” according to Davy Daniëls of BBB. It plans to sponsor him as an independent in upcoming criterium races. The company has previously provided Steegmans with equipment sponsorship.
Katusha denies the Steegmans‘ contract has been annulled. Press spokesman Andrea Agostini told us that team manager Andrei Tchmil is waiting to talk with his cyclist.
Steegmans refused to sign the team’s anti-doping charter, and has not ridden competitively since the Dauphiné Libéré in June. “I consider this a completely lost year,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
Although he had two wins earlier in the season, he says that he did not bring in the expected results because of “one big problem: my back. Only when that problem was out of the way, did things get better.” But, he said, Tchmil pushed him too hard in May. “You cannot expect that if the doctor says the problem is solved that I am immediately in form the next day,” Steegmans said.
Although he was placed on inactive status by Katusha in June, he has continued to ride. “I am still cycling but training is something else. There is always the uncertainty, “ he said. Steegmans added that despite some concern he remains highly motivated.
Steegmans is rumoured to be close to signing with the French team Bbox Bouygues Telecom, but he would not confirm that. “I won’t say much about my future. We’ll see. I hope that my concerns will soon be over.”
Gert Steegmans and Team Katusha may have terminated their contract effective immediately after the Belgian refused to sign the team’s anti-doping charter prior to the Tour de France. Media reports today indicated that the relationship was over, but the team has now it.
Team manager Andre Tchmil “said that there has not been a contract annument,” team press spokesman Andrea Agostini told us. “Steegmans was near our headquarters during the Tour de France, but did not take the opportunity to meet and clarify his position.”
The team put Steegmans on inactive status in late June when he refused to agree to the new requirement, which requires riders to pay five times their salary should they break anti-doping rules.
Steegmans had no comment on the matter.
The 28-year-old has not ridden for the Russian team since the Dauphiné Libéré in June. The team placed him on inactive status when he refused to sign a contract which would require him to pay a fine of up to six times his annual salary if he were convicted of a doping violation.
Several riders objected to the new requirement, but most eventually signed. Kenny Dehaes refused, and was released from his contract in June. He later signed with the Silence-Lotto team.
“Gert never wanted to sign our anti-doping charter,” Katusha Sport Director Jef Braeckevelt told the Belga press agency. “I think this is a good thing for both parties. He can now look forward to a new team where he can ride again. We don’t need to pay him any longer for not riding.”
Steegmans had two wins this season for Katusha, the first at the Trofeo Mallorca and the second in a stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia.
The sprinter turned pro in 2002 with Lotto, where he remained until he joined Quick Step for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He has won two stages in the Tour de France in his career including the final stage on the Champs Elysée in 2008.
Gert Steegmans was absent for the Belgian national championship road race on Sunday despite being able to race. His team Katusha has placed him on inactive status for refusing to sign an anti-doping agreement. “Until Wednesday I was really planning to start, but it was all too complex,” Steegmans told sporza.be. “There was an option to ride independently, but I was advised not to take the risk and to avoid problems.” The Russian ProTour team requires he signs its anti-doping clause. One of its requirements is that a rider found positive for a banned drug must pay back up to five times his annual salary. Katusha left Steegmans off the Tour de France team as a result. “I’m quite concerned. I hope that I can soon ride again for Katusha. I am still planning to fulfil my contract.” The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) said last week that Katusha’s clause is “not permissible” according to International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations. (SW)
Belgian Gert Steegmans has been given until Monday to sign the Katusha team’s anti-doping agreement. The sprinter has so far refused to put his name to the document, which states that riders will give up five times their annual salary to the team if they test positive, La Dernier Heure reported Sunday.
If he does not sign the document, he will forfeit his participation in the Tour de France.
Several of the riders objected to the new contract, which was rolled out after Austrian Christian Pfannberger tested positive for EPO earlier this year. Riders had just voiced their objections when another of their team, Antonio Colom, also was declared positive for the banned blood booster.
Robbie McEwen was one of the riders to balk at the document, but after having his lawyers review the deal, he signed his name stating emphatically that he is anti-doping.