Vancouvers Danika Schroeter may be forced to miss the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in New Zealand in late August as a result of her choice of podium T-shirts at the Canadian National Downhill Championships last month in Whistler.
The T-shirt in question had the words "100% Pure Woman Champ 2006" written in marker on the front a dig at national champion Michelle Dumaresq, who underwent a sex change operation in the mid-90s.
Dumaresqs female status has been accepted by the UCI, Canadian Cycling Association, IOC and other sanctioning bodies, but has never quite been accepted by other female downhill racers, who feel that Dumaresq retains a physical and mental advantage despite the operation and hormone therapies.
The two athletes stood side by side on the podium, with Schroeter in second place. Schroeters shirt prompted some inappropriate comments from the crowd which Dumaresq took in stride.
According to Schroeter she was given the T-shirt by her boyfriend just before the medal ceremony, and wore it at the encouragement of others. She has since expressed regret for the incident, but theres no word on whether she will appeal the Canadian Cycling Associations decision to suspend her from racing.
According to the CCA, Schroeters protest contravened at least three rules, including rules regarding conduct. The maximum suspension was six months, but the association only suspended Schroeter for three months.
Schroeter has until Aug. 11 to appeal the decision.
During her suspension Schroeter is prohibited against competing in any sanctioned cycling events, including the upcoming world championships.
Samurai deadline today
Returning Samurai of Singletrack riders have until after tonights (Thursday, Aug. 3) weekly Loonie Race to hand in their registration forms for the sixth annual epic Sept. 16-17.
After Thursday organizers will see how many registered riders they have and decide whether to open any spots to the public through a contest, draw or other test. The event was originally limited to just 100 riders, but has crept up to around 115 in recent years with the addition of past volunteers and the strong interest from new and returning riders.
The Samurai has the distinction of being the longest and hardest Whistler ride, taking place on the most technically difficult trails in town.
This years event promises to be even more challenging, with organizers planning a two-day, 100 km ride. It would likely be broken up 60-40 to give riders a break on the second day, but in the words of Tony Horn, "We said before that its not going to get any easier."
This is also the sixth event of a seven-race series. Only riders that have completed all six events about 50 mountain bikers will be invited to the seventh "ultimate Samurai" event in 2007.