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December 18, 2012
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CMU releases cycling coach Rick Crawford after new doping info surfaces

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Colorado Mesa University has fired cycling coach Rick Crawford as a result of new information regarding Crawford's previous involvement with performance enhancing drugs.

The university said the new information involved an instance(s) of a drug-related infraction(s) that occurred while Crawford was in Durango, where he coached.

"It is incredibly disappointing," said Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster. "It is just too bad but our commitment remains to support our student-athletes and to giving them the most positive college experience possible."

Earlier this month, it was announced that Crawford had disclosed his involvement from 1999-2001 in the use of performance enhancing drugs by two professional cyclists to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

At that time, the university said that it would allow Crawford to continue coaching the CMU cycling team with the understanding that all instances had been disclosed.

At that time, the university also announced the appointment of former professional cyclist Scott Mercier as director of CMU cycling. Mercier, an outspoken anti-doping proponent, provides oversight and direction for the CMU cycling program.

Mercier, who left professional cycling because of his opposition to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, said he, too, was disappointed.

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

Crawford was relieved of his duties effective Monday, Dec. 17. He began coaching at CMU in February 2012. On Dec. 4, Crawford signed a stipulation with USADA agreeing that should he ever violate another anti-doping rule, penalties for the violation would be significantly enhanced.

Crawford agreed to provide at least 500 hours of community service during the next five years in anti-doping education for the USADA or any sports or community organization or institution of higher education.

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 18, 2012 11:55AM Published Dec 18, 2012 11:48AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.