Australian track cyclists Mark French has won $350,000 payout from a radio station that called him a "dirty, stinking, dobbing cyclist". The comments were made on the Triple M station's breakfast show The Cage, (now defunct), by presenters James Brayshaw and Tim Smith.
French, the four time junior world sprint champion, was implicated in a doping scandal in 2004 when cleaners found phials and syringes outside his room at the Australian Institute of Sport. French was accused of using equine growth hormone and initially banned from the sport for two years he was also given a lifetime ban from Olympic competition (which for a track cyclist is pretty much a career ender).
The comments on the Triple M show followed the airing of a news documentary on the case in 2004. However, on appeal the Court for Arbitration in Sport threw the case against French out, revoked his ban and cleared him of all charges citing a lack of evidence.
As well as criticising French for cheating the the Cage presenters also branded him "un-Australian" for naming other cyclists allegedly involved in the doping scandal.
As well as paying French $350,000 the court also ordered Triple M to pay his $57,000 legal costs.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.