Belgian sprinter Gert Steegmans has parted company with the Russian Katusha team after refusing to sign the squad’s anti-doping charter.

Steegmans has been in limbo since June this year, having not raced since the Dauphine Libere due to his refusal to endorse Katusha’s charter which stipulated that anyone caught for doping would be fined heavily – up to five times their annual salary.

Steegmans has refused to comment on his departure from the squad, and it is not clear who he will now ride for.

As a result of Steegmans refusal to sign the charter, he missed this year’s Tour de France. Although he has a number of wins in his palmares – including a high profile win on the Champs Élysées at the end of the 2008 Tour – Steegmans is probably better known as former lead-out man for sprinters Tom Boonen and Robbie McEwen.

Katusha’s anti-doping charter was brought in by the squad after two riders failed tests for banned substances. Christian Pfannberger failed an out-of-competition test in May, and was ejected from the team. Antonio Colom failed a test for EPO in June and was suspended.

Related links

Colom positive for EPO

Katusha suspends Pfannberger after out-of-competition positive

  • John Reekie

    The last company I worked for had a drug and alchohol policy and that id not involve paying 5 times your salary if you were caught. i would never sign a contract like that and I imagine that most people reading the article would not do so either. Imagine your were slipped something and then failed a test resulting in financial hardship. I doubt the clause is even legal anyway.

  • D Darby

    Well this does sound rather dubious. Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but surely people are going to start pointing their finger at Steegmans for his refusal to sign the anti-doping charter.

  • Matt Faulkner

    What a pillock!

    If you are going to take drugs then at least try and hide it by going along with antidoping rules. He has now scorched a massive scolding emblem on himself saying “Probably a doper, test me daily” and no decent team will sign him.

    It’s like telling a policeman you are not drunk and then refusing to take a breathaliser test on the grounds that you don’t like his dog.

    * Headline Two Weeks Later- “Steegmans Signs With Rock Racing!”

  • Lashan

    If you are clean why worry about signing anything!!