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Cyclist Adam Stewart is out of the New Zealand team for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi after receiving a two year ban for attempted use of prohibited substances.
The ban was imposed by the Sports Tribunal for attempted use of EPO and for possession of hCG in breach of the Sports Anti-Doping Rules.
BikeNZ said it felt extremely let down by Stewart’s actions and fully supported the Sports Tribunal’s decision and the investigation process carried out by Drug Free Sport New Zealand.
“We take our team culture and values very seriously as part of the overall development of our athletes,” said BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner. “We have a zero tolerance policy to anyone who waivers from this.
“There’s more to being a professional athlete than just being able to ride a bike fast and we want to develop leadership and responsibility within all who represent us on the world stage.
“Our riders have been part of developing those values and there’s been a buy-in from everyone involved in our programme. Adam Stewart knows what he has done has clearly broken that trust.
“Our organisation from the Board, staff, stakeholders, coaches and Adam’s team-mates are extremely disappointed and feel let down by his actions. This is a young man who has made a very silly mistake and he therefore must pay the consequences of his actions.”
Mr Turner said the organisation had worked extremely hard in the last three years to establish a world class high performance culture and discipline within the organisation. Part of that had been a close liaison with Drug Free Sport New Zealand who had worked with all High Performance athletes with education on anti doping rules.
Stewart left New Zealand two months ago with the sprint squad who have been training and racing in USA and Europe in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. Once advised of the investigation, BikeNZ met with Stewart who agreed to leave the squad immediately and return to New Zealand.
Mr Turner said the team has cover within the sprint squad for Delhi but will be discussing possible options with the NZOC to add to the squad.
NOTE: Kieran Turner is the sole spokesperson from BikeNZ on this issue. No riders or coaches will be available to comment. Kieran is available for media interviews in Christchurch or by phone between 11am and 2pm today. Please contact Ian Hepenstall to book an interview time.