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Message from Phil Zajicek
 
By Staff
Date: 10/14/2004
Message from Phil Zajicek
 

I have recently tested positive for having levels above the allowable limit for norpseudoephedrine in my system. Norpseudoephedrine is a metabolite of the legal decongestant pseudoephedrine (Sudafed ) which I had been taking in a normal adult dose to combat occasional allergies. In January of 2004 the UCI, WADA, and USADA legalized the use of pseudoephedrine. It has been deemed safe for competition and does not hold any performance enhancing properties. Unfortunately the metabolites of this legal decongestant are still illegal when present above a limit of 5mcg/ml. In my body there were levels of just over 6mcg/ml.

It is important to note that although a published study indicates that this metabolite remains in your system for 48 hours, I tested negative both the day before as well as the day after the test in question. In fact, of the 6 tests that I had that week only 1 showed the presence of norpseudoephedrine. In addition, it is also found in plants indiginous to the region where I was racing (Northern China), and is quite common in tea and food from that area.

Upon learning of the violation I voluntarily pulled myself from competition. I have chosen to accept a warning from USADA and would like to continue dialog with the anti-doping agencies to ensure that this type of situation will not arise again. Although I am completely innocent in this case it is with great reluctance that I am accepting their warning. The alternative of seeking to have this overturned through arbitration is both a costly and lengthy procedure with a very low chance of success, even in an apparently clear case such as mine.

I and my team have and will continue to support the anti-doping agencies in their fight against cheating in sport. I am dedicated to working within the system to ensure that no other athlete will be subject to such an inappropriate ordeal. Although I understand the headstrong mentality that is necessary for their fight to be successful I also understand that situations that are clearly not doping will arise.

Currently I am starting to begin my preparation for the 2005 season and am looking forward to returning to racing at a high level. I'd like to thank my coach, my team, and my friends and family for standing beside me and providing support throughout this ordeal.

Thank you.
Phil Zajicek

Editor's Note: We add this link to Phil's bio at the Navigator's Insurance website, and the USADA announcement on Phil of today's date below that.

http://www.navpro.com/riders/phil_zajicek.asp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 13, 2004) - The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced Wednesday that Philip Zajicek of Tucson, Ariz., an athlete in the sport of cycling, tested positive at the Tour of Qinghai Lake on July 22, 2004 in China.

He tested positive for cathine (norpseudoephedrine) above the permitted level, which is prohibited under the Union Cycliste International (UCI) rules.

Zajicek, 25, received a public warning, in accordance with the UCI rules for a first offense. In addition, he is disqualified from his first-place overall finish at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and fined 666 Swiss Francs.

In accordance with the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing, the case was referred to USADA on Aug. 16, 2004 for adjudication from USA Cycling, which received the case from the UCI.


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