Russian cyclist Denis Galimzyanov on Tuesday admitted doping but cleared his team Katusha of any involvement. Galimzyanov was on Monday provisionally suspended after traces of the blood booster EPO were found in a urine sample following an out-of competition test on March 22 this year. In a letter in Russian on his team’s website, Galimzyanov held his hands up and said he would not be asking for his ‘B’ sample to be analyzed.
“I admit the use of the banned substance,” said Galimzyanov, adding that he was “willing to accept the appropriate punishment”. “I fully realized what I did. I deeply regret what happened and I present my apologies to the entire team and my teammates, as well as all the fans who I let down,” he continued. “I would like in particular to draw attention to the fact that the Katusha team had nothing to do with what happened. No member of the team knew and could know what I did. It was my personal decision and my responsibility.”
The Russian outfit Katusha has been managed since the end of last year by German Hans-Michael Holczer. He had previously been in charge of the German team Gerolsteiner, who
disappeared from the peloton at the end of 2008 following doping scandals involving German rider Stefan Schumacher and Austrian Bernhard Kohl.
The provisional suspension will remain in effect until the Russian Cycling Federation holds a hearing to determine whether or not Galimzyanov contravened the UCI’s anti-doping rules. Galimzyanov, 25, won last year’s Paris-Brussels race, and this season won the first stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe on April 3.