Cyclists turn their backs on cleared French
By RACHAEL BORICH
AUSTRALIAN track sprint cyclist Ryan Bayley is adamant he does not want Mark French back at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) cycling program in Adelaide.
French was this week cleared of doping allegations which cost him a place in the Athens Olympics.
The former junior world champion is now free to return to the sport and to compete for Australia at future Olympic Games, but French remains uncertain on his cycling future.
Bayley has a clearer picture.
"We wouldn't want him back,'' Bayley said. "He's bad-mouthed the sport too much and has trodden on toes.''
Bayley said he was disappointed with the decision, overturned on Tuesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but had still not received all the information as of yesterday.
"We're not interest in the politics, we just want to ride,'' Bayley said.
The French family has been critical of the AIS set-up since the initial findings last year, but AIS newcomer Shane Perkins has no problems with his new living en- vironment.
"The AIS has treated me great, it's just a big happy family,'' Perkins said.
The 2004 junior world sprint and keirin champion said he also felt sorry for people like Bayley and Anna Meares.
"They came off such great results at the Olympics, but because of a few people making bad moves it cost them potential sponsorship,'' Perkins said.
Both Perkins and Bayley just want Australia's high-achieving cyclists to get the recognition they deserve as being among the world's best.
Perkins, the son of former Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games cyclist Daryl Perkins, is just excited about his opportunity to join the AIS program.
His daily schedule during the Rockhampton camp has involved waking up at about 7.30am, then having breakfast and then it's on the bike at 8.30am to either ride to the gym or work through a road session.
Winding up around 11.30am they ride back to their accomodation, have some lunch and then it's back on the bike at about 1.30pm to head to the Kenrick Tucker Velodrome to train until about 5pm. Then, all that's left is recovery time.