Pretty surprising stuff – this is Katusha sprinter Denis Galimzyanov’s confession. He admits to taking EPO, claims that he acted alone, and points out that nobody on the team was involved.
In stating that he acted alone, a lot of questions are raised. First up, it is quite hard to believe that he acted wholly alone – can we believe that he found a dealer/source, met and bought the EPO, and then safely administered it by himself? It remains to be seen whether this is his definition of ‘alone’ or if he is merely talking about doing it without his team’s knowledge, maybe with an outside doctor. Then again, why go to all the trouble when you have some experienced heads on the team? There is also a question over whether the team forced him to write the letter.
This isn’t the first EPO positive to come from Katusha, with Christian Pfannberger and Antonio Colom both being banned for two years in 2009. Taking all these positives into account, along with some of the shady backroom staff at the team, they really don’t look very good at all.
One plus for Galimzyanov in all this is that at least he won’t have to pay five times his salary to his team. This clause was never really workable, and he’s done a good job so far of deflecting any blame from the team, so all’s good in that area.
Taking a quick look at his profile on the team’s website, it looks as though he has literally ruined his dreams – his chances of winning the Olympics this year have vanished. On the plus side, he will have two years to work on his papier-mâché.
Here is the full translation of the letter (thanks to cyclingnews.com)..
I, the undersigned Denis Galimzyanov, rider of Katusha Team, want to clear up the current matter with my positive doping test. On March 22, 2012, being in Italy, I received a visit from anti-doping control officers in an out of competition time. A month later, a urine sample taken during that visit indicated EPO.
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.
I would like to draw A PARTICULAR ATTENTION for that fact that Katusha Team has nothing to do with what happened. No team member knew and could know about what I did. It was my personal decision and my responsibility.
I refuse from my right to request and attend the analysis of my B sample.”
April 17, 2012