On the 16th of August 2000, the British Cycling Federation
received notification from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that Neil Campbell
had provided a positive urine sample at a World Cup track meeting on 13th July 2000.
Subsequent analysis had shown the sample to contain Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin
(HCG) with a concentration greater than that permitted by the Anti-Doping Regulations
of the UCI and the BCF. The Federation then urgently sought the result of the analysis
of a further urine sample which had been provided by Neil Campbell at the British
National Track Championships on the 29th of July 2000. The result of this analysis
again showed the concentration of HCG to be over the permitted limits.
The Federation is advised that urine sample positive for HCG from a male indicates
either its exogenous administration1 or the presence of malignant disease, most
commonly testicular cancer, which results in the secretion of this hormone. HCG
is not normally detectable in healthy males. The serious implications of this particular
finding clearly require the first stage of any investigation to focus on the possibility
of disease. Naturally, the BCF adopted an athlete centred approach pursuing a medical
explanation, which, through necessity, required a high degree of confidentiality
prior to the resolution of the case.
Neil Campbell was contacted immediately by the BCF team doctor who discussed these
findings with him. As a consequence of this a series of urgent medical tests and
referrals to consultants in urology and endocrinology were arranged for Neil Campbell
by BCF staff in both Australia and the UK.
On the 25th of August the Board of the BCF decided to suspend Neil Campbell and that
he would not be entered for the Olympic Games. This decision was consistent with
the BCF,s athlete-centred approach in that it was felt necessary to prevent Neil
from competing whilst considerable doubt surrounded his health or eligibility to
compete. A press release was made indicating this. At that time no adequate medical
explanation had been presented to the BCF to account for the positive samples and
a disciplinary hearing was therefore set for 8th September 2000 at which Neil Campbell
was asked to account for the findings. In the interim period Neil Campbell was personally
pursuing further medical examinations and no additional information was released
to the media due to the need to maintain medical confidentiality.2
Following the hearing Neil Campbell was found guilty of a breach of the BCF and UCI
anti-doping regulations. In accordance with these regulations Neil Campbell is suspended
from competition, coaching and officiating for a period of one year from the 25th
August 2000 until the 24th August 2001 inclusive. He has also been fined the sum
of 4,000 Swiss Francs. Neil Campbell is disqualified from all events in which he
competed between 13th July 2000 and 25th August 2000. The fact that this was his
first offence was taken into consideration.
Brian Cookson, President of the Federation said "Whilst this finding is extremely
disappointing, the BCF remain convinced that the sport of cycling is leading the
battle against doping in sport. Cycling has the most stringent testing procedures,
including blood testing and regular health screening and as a consequence has a track
record of catching those who attempt to gain an unfair advantage. The message from
this to all athletes must be if you cheat you will get caught."
1,It is well known that the administration of HCG and other related compounds leads
to an increase in the production of natural androgenic steroids and is considered
equivalent to the exogenous administration of testosterone. A sample would be considered
if the concentration is above 20InU/ml. During the analysis two different immunoassay
methods are required.0/00 Source – BCF Rulebook. 2000: pp 137-138.
2. Qualified healthcare professionals, including psychologists and sports scientists
are bound by professional codes of conduct that require them not to disclose information
about the health of an individual without the full consent of the individual concerned.
BCF medical staff cannot therefore release any medical details about individuals
without their full consent.