When Jerome Chiotti suddenly admitted in April 2000 that he had used the banned performance enhancing substance EPO and gave back his 1996 World Championship jersey to “rightful winner” Thomas Frischnekt, there were mixed feelings of disappointment and respect throughout the cycling community for his honesty.
Seeing as the offence was committed nearly four years earlier, his admissions were based purely on troubled conscience not any chance of being caught. It is for this reason that the UCI took an appeal over his initial 1 year ban (from the French cycling federation) to the International Sports Arbitration Tribunal (TAS). They have now decided on a six-month suspension, but retroactive to November 24, 2000, and with three months of the sentence suspended. There is some confusion as to quite what this means as Chiotti has been competing in cyclo cross races this winter, but the French Federation President remains adamant that Chiotti is officially suspended until February 24th.
In the meantime any riders wishing to ease their guilty conscience and come clean to doping – whether that’s jellified calves blood by-products powering you over the alps or Extra Strength Lemsip in your water bottle at the weekend – then we’ll be sure to give you a sympathetic ear at the BIKEmagic confessional.
However, we of course reserve the right to immeadiately flog the most lurid details of your shameful exploits to the highest bidder and harrass friends and family for good measure. After all, we are journalists.