CMU fires cycling coach over doping scandal

By: Andie Adams Email
By: Andie Adams Email
Officials say “new information involved an instance(s) of a drug-related infraction(s)” that took place while Crawford was in Durango.

Rick Crawford was fired as the CMU cycling coach, effective Dec. 17, 2012.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – Cycling coach Rick Crawford will no longer be working for Colorado Mesa University after new details come to light about his former involvement with performance enhancing drugs, according university officials.

In a statement, they say “the new information involved an instance(s) of a drug-related infraction(s)” that took place while Crawford was in Durango. He was there from 2001 to 2009 as the head coach of the Ft. Lewis Cycling team.

At the beginning of this month, Crawford admitted to participating in a doping program from 1999 to 2001, which involved two unnamed professional cyclists.

Crawford approached the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) about his part in it, and the agency announced that it will take no legal action against him.

During that time, CMU said it would allow Crawford to stay on as a coach “with the understanding that all instances had been disclosed,” said Tuesday's statement from the school.

Current professional cyclist Tom Danielson was a 2001 collegiate national champion under the tutelage of Rick Crawford. Earlier this year Danielson admitted to partaking in doping activities during his professional career.

In an email between Danielson and KKCO 11 News, the cyclist denied any connection between his own doping scandal and his former college coach Rick Crawford.

"I've admitted my mistakes I personally made on my own," Danielson wrote in the email, "Rick [Crawford] played no part in my mistakes."

On Dec. 4, Crawford signed an agreement with the USADA that he would receive harsher penalties if he ever violated another anti-doping rule. As part of the deal, he also agreed to 500 hours of community service over the next five years, working in anti-doping education.

“We believed it was important that Rick Crawford have a second chance, but the information we have recently received removes that option,” said Scott Mercier, the new director of CMU cycling. “We remain committed to running a clean program and to becoming a leader in endurance athletics, particularly cycling.”

Officials did not go into the specifics of the "new information" they received. Crawford was fired effective Dec. 17. He had been working at CMU since February 2012.

"I feel bad for [Crawford]," Danielson told KKCO 11 News. "I know inside [CMU] was a job he loved so so much."


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