Rider given 18 month ban for refusal to take dope test due to domestic emergency

Belgian born rider, Marcel Six has been sacked by the Metaltek Scott racing team following the 18 month ban he received last week for refusing a doping control, due to a family emergency, at the Canary Wharf round of this year's Tour Series.

Six's dismissal is pretty much a formality given the length of his ban, even so team manager Andy Swain told the Melton Times that it had been a hard decision to make, like UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) Swain said he didn't believe that Six had actually doped.

“We have dismissed him because we need to be seen to be doing the right thing for our sponsors and suppliers.

“It was a tough decision to make and a rough week for the team, but we will still be going strong next year, hopefully learn from it and move onwards and upwards.”

As we reported last week Six, whose racing career was described "as a bone of contention' between him and his wife was called up to race as a last minute replacement for the Canary Wharf race and even before it had started was receiving phone calls and text messages from his wife telling him that she was locked out of the house and that there son was ill.

Finishing the race in 11th place, Six was selected for a random doping control – only riders from the top 12 finishers faced the prospect of such a test - Six however refused and made straight for the car park to leave the event, on the way signing a document acknowledging that his failure to take a test could constitute an anti-doping violation.

Commenting on the situation Swain said: “If you know Marcel, what happened was perfectly legitimate, but it was a massive error of judgement.”

While missing an out of competition test is a serious matter missing an in competition test counts as an automatic fail and carries a two year ban unless the athlete can establish that they had compelling justification to miss the test. Six failed to do this, but had his two year ban reduced by six months because of the circumstances - he also passed the doping control when it was administered 12 hours later.

Whether the rider will ever return to cycling is open to doubt, his former manager thinks it unlikely: “I’m not sure Marcel would want to a ride a bike anymore when you look at what some people have said.

“Some have got him down as being as guilty as Lance Armstrong which is crazy, but it would make it difficult for him to come back.”

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.