The height of hypocrisy?

Two days ago it was announced that the ‘A’ sample of Denis Galimzyanov of Team Katusha, taken on the 22nd March, had contained the performance enhancing drug EPO.

Rather than the usual blind denials and wacky excuses that we have become accustomed to as cycling fans, Galimzyanov made the decision yesterday to confess and apologise:

I recognize a fact of banned substance usage. I fully realized what I did. I deeply regret about what happened, and I apologize to the whole team and my teammates, along with my fans whom I disappointed. I am ready to suffer an appropriate punishment.

He has waived the right to have his B-sample analysed which confirms that he has tested positive and he will probably face a two-year suspension.

Denis Galimzyanov

In the wake of Galimzyanov’s positive test, former German professional cyclist Erik Zabel and current employee of Galimzyanov’s Katusha team, decided to air his view via his twitter feed:

I wish Denis, that he’ll find rest and that his family and good friends are strong enough to help him out in the next months! Good Luck and dont comeback!

The final sentence is incredibly hypocritical, coming as it does from a rider who confessed to taking EPO during his time at Team Telekom. Zabel’s teary confession came only after many of his former team-mates had also owned up to doping.

Zabel’s admission that he doped for the 1996 Tour de France came almost 11 years after the fact. He also tested positive for a banned substance in 1994.

When he confessed to taking EPO he was still a professional cyclist with the Milram team and he was allowed to continue racing despite his drug-fuelled past.

While Zabel lied for 11 years about taking EPO himself, Galimzyanov’s admission yesterday is refreshing. The act of taking performance enhancing drugs remains deplorable of course, but the fact that the Russian has confessed immediately saves everybody time and hassle.

Erik Zabel

Many months on from the conclusion of the Alberto Contador case, most would agree that the most damaging aspect of the whole scenario was the ridiculous amount of time it took for an ultimate decision to be reached. Galimzyanov, although a doper, has at least saved us the tiresome charade of claiming innocence.

Zabel, who has been employed in cycling ever since his confession has now asked a rider he is employed to help, to never come back.

I can’t help but think that there may be an element of this that has been ‘lost in translation’ or that it was simply a typo on Zabel’s behalf. The tweet that Zabel had sent directly before the one asking Galimzyanov not to come back was as follows:

Sad news about Katusha’s Denis Galimzyanow’s positive test! He confessed, regrets, apologized and say sorry! End of story!

This message is not in keeping with the tweet only minutes later that would oppose the idea of Galimzyanov ever returning to the team.

Perhaps the next time Zabel decides to talk to us on twitter we will learn more, but until then, judgement will be reserved.

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  1. norbs - April 20, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    Excellent article Cillian. Linked to it from my blog.

  2. Drogdub - April 21, 2012 @ 1:46 am

    Good to see he admitted his doping, but the real test of his contrition is if he tells the right people how and from whom from he got his gear from

  3. Damien - April 24, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    Ah the blow torch, tweezers and a tweet job, uuch.

  4. Willy T. Ribbs - April 26, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    The ‘don’t come back!’ bit seems incongruous with the rest of the comments, I think it’s just a simple mistake from EZ. I hate to play the skeptic, but I think Denis’ admission might have come after he was heavily leaned on. One man falling on his sword to save others and in turn the brass of Katusha? All pure conjecture, but I have a feeling something is rotten in Denmark.

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