PARIS (AFP) — Francaise des Jeux rider Yoann Offredo expressed his shock on Thursday after being suspended for a year for missing doping tests.
Considered one of the rising stars of road racing, the 25-year-old Frenchman missed two tests in an 18-month period.
Offredo branded the suspension, which takes effect from January 31 this year, as ‘shocking and disproportionate.’
“I’ve never denied the administrative errors I made which resulted in three ‘no shows,'” he insisted. “I tried to defend myself as best I could by explaining that I was at a competition when in July 2011, a tester arrived at my home.
“I proclaim with all my energy that I’ve never cheated and I’ve always practiced cycling with honesty. Today I’m sad, disillusioned and battered. This sanction has damaged by career and my reputation.”
Offredo said that he was considering legal action to restore his reputation.
FDJ team manager Marc Madiot said, “I take note of the decision, whether I agree with it or not that’s how it is.
“I think we have reached certain limits in the system. That’s how it is now.”
The rider has 30 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with a risk that the sanction could be heavier.