UCI annuls French team's world golds

AIGLE, Switzerland -- French rider Gregory Bauge and the French sprint team were stripped of gold medals from the world track cycling championships on Friday for a violation of anti-doping rules.

Governing body UCI annulled Bauge's victory in the individual sprint event and the gold medal he helped the French win in the team sprint race at the worlds last March in Appeldoorn, Netherlands.

The UCI acted after the French federation imposed a one-year backdated suspension on Bauge for violating rules on rider availability for drug tests and for one missed test in 18 months.

The suspension covered Dec. 23, 2010, to Dec. 22, 2011.

The UCI said all of Bauge's results during that period have been nullified, including those at the world championships. With the suspension already finished, Bauge remains eligible to compete at the London Olympics this year.

The UCI said the medals from the worlds have been redistributed.

In the individual sprint, British rider Jason Kenny moved up from second to get the gold. Britain's Chris Hoy was upgraded from bronze to silver, and France's Mickael Bourgain from fourth to third.

In the team sprint, Germany was promoted from second to gold, Britain from third to silver, and Australia from fourth to third.

The French Cycling Federation reacted angrily to the UCI's verdict, claiming the world body handled the matter poorly.

"While the FFC regrets Gregory Bauge's breaches of discipline with respect to his whereabouts obligations, it regrets just as much the lack of thought with which the UCI has handed this thorny issue," the FFC said in a statement Friday.

The French federation said it was notified of Bauge's violation on Sept. 30, 2011 -- 10 months after the rider was informed.

"As a consequence it seems that, when he took part in the world track cycling championships in 2011, Gregory Bauge was neither suspended or the subject of a disciplinary inquiry," the FFC said. "No proceedings had been opened."