British cyclist Damien Sharp has been banned for two years after testing positive for EPO following an in-competition test in Bermuda on July 17.

Sharp, riding for Team Fast Forward Bicycle Works, waived his right to a hearing and accepted the proposed two-year sanction that will see him banned until midnight 17 August 2013.

He had previously ridden for the West Yorkshire Police CC and won the Classic Race at the 2007 Otley GP.

According to Bernews, a local news and culture website, Sharp had recently worked for Bermudan police, but has since left his position there. They note that he is no longer on the island either.

A police spokesperson told them: “The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that Mr. Sharp is no longer an employee. Although EPO is on the list of banned substances issued by some sporting bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union, possession does not constitute a criminal offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

The test was conducted in co-operation with UK Anti-Doping, the USADA (The US Anti-Doping Agency) and the Bermudan Sport Anti-Doping Authority (BSADA).

A spokesperson for UK Anti-Doping told Cycling Weekly that they had collaborated with the other agencies by supplying information, which fits in with their intelligence management role.

The BSADA’s Executive Director Cathy Belvedere said: “This case highlights the importance of cooperation between national anti-doping organisations and how information sharing can be used to successfully identify and ultimately bring sanctions to doping athletes.”

More to follow.

  • Dave M

    I was sad to read about Damien and what he has done and do not condone doping in any way.
    However, I also have known Damien for a good few years and know the good side to him and a lot of what he has been through on a personal level.
    Don’t judge a man on one silly mistake is all I can say?
    All the best to you mate and I am sure you will find out who your true friends are in times like this.

  • Mike

    Ah well, thats it sorted then.
    Any pro that wants to cheat now has another excuse to add to the “Its for my dog, or, there for my mother in law”.
    Now they can say, I was really depressed at the time guv.
    Well that all right then.

  • Craig Newton

    I don’t intend to add any further fuel to this fire, i too know Damien.
    It’s really sad what has happen, but i totally agree with Dieter Droger and Julian Breese’s comments.

    I just hope Damien is ok.

  • Scott Tomkinson

    I would just like to make a comment regarding this matter. I truly believe it was completely wrong to take EPO. However, my brother in-law run’s team Fast Forward Bicycle Works in Bermuda. I represented the team at this years Bermuda National Crit championships and can honestly say that the rest of the team, the shop, and it’s management is an honest organization which gives a lot to the great sport of cycling. Yes, a previous member took EPO, but the team are disgusted by his actions.

    Scott Tomkinson

  • philip livingstone

    Just as well it wasn’t reported in the Sun newpaper – i can just see the headlines…. Bent Brit Bobby’s Bad Blood Brings Bermudan Bike Ban!!!

  • julian breese

    I’m too old and large to even think of being a 2nd cat. rider but for those of you who are justifiably criticising the use of drugs I can only add this. If you have never had to deal with severe depression either personally or as a carer then take a step back and have a long think. Depression alters the way your brain works, and things which normally would be discarded due their stupidity suddenly become perfectly logical. IF Damien is seriously depressed I hope he finds someone to help him very soon and he has my best wishes for a complete recovery

  • GaryW

    Hey Dieter

    I as well feel so sorry for this bloke, got paid to race in UK Police time (probably o/time..thanks taxpayers). then works for the Police in Bermuda… (makes me feel quite guilty driving an HGV for £9 an hour !)

    We all have our problems in life…but man up mate, your mate is a plain and simple CHEAT.

  • sheldon

    Dieter, Could I suggest your friend reads Dave Millars book. At the end of the day I can’t see why taking drugs will help him with depression, it would only make him worse because he would put any performance down to drugs. There are no reasonswhy taking performing enhancing drugs can be acceptable or understandable.
    Just riding his bike may well help your friend. A weeks touring in the Scottish highlands would do him far more good.

  • Pat Noone

    Just a poor guy who wanted to be a somebody, the hype of professional riding, the glamour the fame, now days is a strong magnet to those who want to be in the ranks of the pro field, thinking it will make them happier, and you would have to be very nieve if you think dope taking has been stopped in the pro ranks through random testing, Cheating, the psych of the takers wont see it as that, its others are on it so I have to take it to compete at that level, and in some camps it is promoted if they want to succeed, but the riders are gullible and dont plan on a retirement pension, there youth sees only here and now, and drugs are a quick answer to fame and fortune, long term effects of poor health and shortened life dont come into it for them, so who’s the real criminals, those who take it or those who know there riders are on it and encourage it, or turn a bllind eye as long as they see results, dispose of last years model and bring in the next guinea pig, riders being used by bad management, riders wise up.

  • Mike

    Although I can see your point Dieter, It still makes no sense.
    No matter how deep his depression, how would knowing he had cheated to get any result have made him feel better?
    Surely this would only add to the problem. I cant see how cheating would add to anyones self esteem.

    Also, what about the self esteem of the other competitors he may have beaten, are they just supposed to accept it in good grace?
    A cheat is a cheat, we all work hard at our sport and anyone trying to gain an unfair advantage deserves what they get.

  • Mark Whitmarsh

    Cheating is surely a self-defeating course of action when used as a means of making you feel better about yourself. In the end don’t you just feel worse because you know in your heart that the “great achievement” was built on deception rather than your own ability?

  • Nick

    Turd.

  • dieter droger

    Although i DO NOT condone what Damian has done here, he’s acted in a state of sheer desperation and depression and thought by acting like this would be a way towards the light of a VERY dark tunnel for him.

    I have known him as a friend for an awful long time and as i said earlier do not condone what he has done, he must have acted in a way as to try and increase his self esteem in some way or another.

    Maybe a reason behind this was to create great cycling performances which in turn would lift his self esteem and deep inner depression.

    Rather than just jumping in with the usual quotes, maybe take a moment and think about the choices and drama’s in his life that led him down this path, i for one can belive this has happened however i can also understand that to some people sporting achivement is a way of dealing with inner depression.

  • John A

    I’ve raced against this guy and thought he was just a strong 2nd Cat. Makes me wonder but what’s the point???

  • sheldon

    What a pratt.

  • george L

    Just shows that EPO doesn’t work. Why take it if your crap????? Maybe this is what the winter club run king takes?

  • Ken Evans

    Who ? !
    At least win some races if you are going to dope !

    “Sharp had recently worked for Bermudan police…..” !!!!
    Was it in their illegal drugs division ??