Cyclist Gets Two-Year Doping Ban

November 8, 2011

[Updated] The national anti doping authority for Bermuda announced today [Nov. 8] that cyclist Damien Sharp — who has since left the island — received a two-year sanction for the use of erythropoietin [EPO] during an in competition event organised by the Bermuda Bicycle Association.

Mr. Sharp [pictured] waived his right to a hearing, admitted his use of EPO and accepted the proposed sanction of two years ineligibility from sport commencing August 18, 2011 and ending at midnight on 17 August 2013.

The sanction prevents Mr. Sharp from participating in any capacity in any competition or in any sport-related activity, including training with teammates, authorised or organised by any organization that is a signatory to the World Anti Doping Code.

“It is very disappointing when we find that an athlete has cheated,” said Cathy Belvedere, executive director of the Bermuda Sports Anti-Doping Authority [BSADA].

“However, it is even more disconcerting when we find out that the substance is as dangerous and sophisticated as EPO. This high risk substance with dangerous affects on the human body was being used by an athlete competing in a mid level local competition.”

Mrs. Belvedere went onto say, ”We can confirm that the test was conducted in cooperation with UK Anti Doping and USADA, the US anti-doping agency. A clear demonstration that anti-doping organisations worldwide, can and do work together. Increasingly, globally, dopers have nowhere to hide.”

She added: “This case highlights the importance of cooperation between National Anti Doping Organisations and how information sharing can be used to successfully identify and ultimately bring sanctions to doping athletes. There will be efforts in the very near future to establish protocols and procedures with our local interdiction agencies to ensure that our collection of information and the ability to share is reciprocal globally.”

EPO, a prohibited substance on the World Anti Doping 2011 Prohibited List, is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally by the human body. It is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production. An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles. It may also increase the body’s capacity to buffer lactic acid.

Mr Sharp [wearing yellow] is in the center of the video below, competing in the 2011 May 24th cycling race:

“We recognise that a well educated drug free sporting community that inspires disciplined, honest and committed athletes, can contribute to the well being of our island home,” said Mrs. Belvedere.

In a statement issued this afternoon,the Bermuda Bicycle Association said: The Bermuda Bicycle Association completely supports the anti-doping efforts both locally and internationally and has made all of its membership fully aware of such programs and principles.

“The BBA was made aware of a positive test result on behalf of one of its members on August 17 and has been in regular contact with the BSADA Results Manager since then.

“As with many sporting bodies, the BBA’s members are subject to random testing and during one of these tests it was confirmed that an athlete was in violation of the anti doping regulations. The BBA applauds BSADA’s action and effective process in confirming that the athlete was in violation of anti doping controls in local competition.

“Doping at any level of sport is cheating and this was a clear instance of an individual attempting to gain a competitive edge by cheating. It is a shock to the BBA and a disservice to the sport of cycling that a recreational athlete should choose to resort to such illegal and immoral methods in order to gain advantage in local races.

“Though the athlete has since left Bermuda, all relevant Cycling Governing bodies have been informed of the violation and will enforce the ban as they see fit.

“The BBA continues to support BSADA’s work and hopes this violation serves as a clear warning to all local athletes that BSDA’s efforts are serious and effective.”

Update 5.36pm: Mr Sharp previously served as a Police officer. A police spokesperson said, “”The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that Mr. Sharp is no longer an employee. Although EPO is on the list of banned substances issued by some sporting bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union, possession does not constitute a criminal offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Oh well says:

    So thats why you left huh Damo? hmmm

    • True Cyclist says:

      Very sad. The bigger picture is that the executive and the directors of the Bicycle Association are all at fault here and should all stand down with immediate effect. They have failed in that until they were approached by an outside agency they allowed drug taking to take place – they must have been suspicious of athletes in the past and they have failed in there duty of care to the younger athletes. They have turned a blind eye to obviously “exceptional improvement” of athletes over the last few years and as such are guilty. All it would have taken is a few “target tests” to either see that the development was natural or indeed assist as with the highlighted case. If they had any balls they would all stand down but from what I understand there is personal interest (yes money and profits from the sport) that will prevent them from stepping up to the plate.
      In all a truely disgusting situation but as with politics – no accountability.

      Situation Normal (sadly)

  2. Yup says:

    What kind of idiot drugs himself up so he can peddle about the place? Hope he takes his family as serious as his bicycling.

  3. Maddog says:

    Not much comments he must be white!!!!!

    • MUFC says:

      Paranoid much Maddog? BTW, it’s ‘not many comments’ NOT ‘not much comments’!!

      • Dinosaurmedia says:

        Not many comments are posted because people do not really care…not because of his skin color…

  4. nigel young says:

    I knew these guys were taking something. Only the other day I was patiently waiting at the traffic lights on collectors hill when about ten of these druggies steamed through the red light and waiting traffic as if it didn’t exist . Now perhaps one stupid individual you can undersatnd but ten people all not seeing the waiting traffic and red light. Surely these guys were on something, maybe not the same gear the the old looking guy from the photo was using to get up knapton hill but perhaps some other form of mind altering substance that disables ones ability to read and differentiate between red and green. As for the tight shorts and the shaved legs – I rest my case.

    • True cyclist says:

      Not even that funny from a person who drives whilst using a telephone.

  5. 1minute says:


  6. Big D says:

    The lesson of certain people do stuff and slip off with out sanction. K

  7. Dinosaurmedia says:

    He’s just one of a few…I suppose we’ll sea a lot less riding off the front this next season. Hint RED and Black…