Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Kirk O'Bee receives lifetime suspension
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Former U.S. national pro cycling champion Kirk O'Bee has received a lifetime suspension for a second doping offense.
O'Bee, who spent the 2000 season on Lance Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team, received his first suspension after testing positive for testosterone when he won the national pro criterium title in 2001. He also won national titles in 1997 and 2007.
His lifetime ban stems from an arbitration decision released Wednesday that upheld a positive EPO test from May 2009. The arbitration panel also upheld evidence obtained by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that reflected O'Bee had actually committed a second doping offense, using EPO and human growth hormone, by 2005. All his records since 2005, including his 2007 national title, have been forfeited.
O'Bee became the fifth cyclist to be sanctioned by USADA since Aug. 10, as the sport stays under the microscope for a number of drug-related issues crossing continents.
Last week, three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador was provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union for a doping violation. Also, Italy's anti-doping prosecutor, Ettore Torri, told The Associated Press he was convinced that all cyclists are doping.
Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors have summoned several of Armstrong's former friends and cycling colleagues to provide information for an investigation into doping in the sport.
Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times from 1999 to 2005 and became a more important figure to federal investigators after former teammate Floyd Landis admitted to doping and accused Armstrong among others of cheating, which Armstrong denies.