Track Worlds: Gregory Bauge still 'hurt' by 12-month ban

Gregory Bauge
Gregory Bauge

UCI World Track Cycling Championships 2012

Venue:
Hisense Arena, Melbourne
Date:
4-8 April 2012

Gregory Bauge, who on Saturday won back the sprint world title he lost to a 12-month retrospective ban, has told BBC Sport "the hurt lasts a long time".

The Frenchman beat Jason Kenny to last year's world gold but was stripped of it when his national federation issued the ban for missed dope tests.

Bauge, 25, beat Kenny again in Melbourne to reclaim the title.

"It hurts your family and just when you think it's all over, someone makes some noise and it resurfaces," he said.

"Although it was only for 12 months, the hurt lasts a long time.

"[To call Saturday's victory] justice sounds a bit extreme. Administrative responsibilities [such as dope tests], whilst necessary, can be annoying when your aim is to be the best in your chosen sport."

The nature of Bauge's ban, handed out by the French cycling federation in January, has been called into question by some of track cycling's other leading riders.

Under the terms of the retrospective suspension, Bauge did not actually miss any cycling - he raced throughout 2011 and only later had his results from those events annulled, before continuing straight into the 2012 campaign.

Bauge has won the world sprint final for each of the last four years (though his 2011 title belongs to Kenny, promoted from the silver medal following the ban) and he appeared entirely undaunted by his off-track concerns as he raced to another gold inside Melbourne's Hisense Arena.

Whoever rides for Britain against him at the Olympic Games in London later this year will face a stiff challenge, be it Sir Chris Hoy or Kenny, both of whom must wait for performance director Dave Brailsford and British Cycling's coaches to make a decision as they are too closely matched to be split on results alone.

"Most people would [select] Hoy as he is a prior Olympic champion," Bauge told BBC Sport through an interpreter. "But for me Kenny has very strong aspects to his racing.

"I'll wait and see what the Great Britain team decide [but I] have no real preference.

"The French team originally had four candidates for the sprint. I've found my golden ticket and for me that's very significant.

"I am now champion of the world and I have a goal in mind. It's simple, bring on the gold. This is what I'm hoping for through all the preparation work I am doing."

BBC coverage (times BST): Medal sessions live on BBC Sport website and Red Button from 1000 each day. Highlights on BBC Two 1430-1700 Sunday 8 April. Commentary and updates on 5 live and 5 live sports extra 0500-1400 daily.