American cyclo-cross rider Jonathan Page missed a post-race doping control at the fourth round of the UCI’s World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium, on November 29. The 32 year-old silver medallist at the 2007 cyclo-cross world championships now has to await a hearing from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and potentially faces a two-year ban.
“I’m relying on a hearing from USADA and I can only hope that they listen to our story that is was nothing but a stupid mistake,” a devastated Page said to Cyclingnews.
The UCI’s cyclo-cross coordinator Peter Van den Abeele confirmed to sport.be that Page didn’t show up for the post-race control in Koksijde. “When I talked with Page about this he was devastated and really upset,” Van den Abeele said. “He was so upset by the news that he didn’t start in Zolder despite having the right to start in the race.”
The Belgian said that the UCI’s legal and doping departments would look into the case in the upcoming days. “He can’t escape some sort of punishment but I’m certainly not the man to judge on that.”
Page pulled out of the Koksijde World Cup after a crash on the third lap and left the race venue unaware of his selection for doping controls. A few weeks later, on December 19, Page received a letter which stated he missed a post-race doping control in Koksijde.
“It was the first time he or I had heard of it [the missed doping control],” said Cori Page, Jonathan’s wife.
It’s nice to read that post-race anti-doping screw-ups are not limited to USADA controls at American mountain bike and cyclocross races.
But JP and Cori should know that ultimately the responsibility to check the boards lies with the racer; not with all the other riders and soigneurs “[who] all help each other by either finding the rider in person or calling the rider on the phone.”
It’s JP and Cori’s fault that he missed a doping control. This will be an interesting case to follow over the next few weeks/months to see what, if any, sanctions JP will have to endure.