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by Shane Stokes
August 6, 2014
The UCI has said that it will agree to a fast decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to the appeal announced today by Roman Kreuziger over his suspension over biological passport concerns.
Contacted by CyclingTips, the governing body said that it was open to a fast ruling. Providing CAS agrees to the request, it means that Kreuziger should find out in time if he will be able to take part in the Vuelta a España or not.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) acknowledges Roman Kreuziger’s decision to bring the provisional suspension imposed on him to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” a spokesman said via email.
“The UCI fully respects the rider’s rights and – as made clear in the notification sent to the rider on August 2, 2014 – shall cooperate with him in agreeing to an expedited proceeding that should allow CAS to decide the appeal before the beginning of the Vuelta a España.”
On June 28th Kreuziger and his team revealed that he was under investigation for alleged biological passport irregularities, but insisted he was innocent. The Czech rider had been due to ride the Tour de France but was instead sidelined by his team, who later said the decision was taken in order to avoid negative publicity at the race plus extra stress for the riders on the squad.
Last week Tinkoff Saxo stated that, in the absence of a ruling by the UCI, it had decided to allow Kreuziger to return to competition and to compete in the Tour of Poland. Team owner Oleg Tinkov added on Twitter that he would take action of his own against the governing body.
He complained that the UCI should have told him Kreuziger had biological passport issues prior to his move from Astana at the end of 2012. However, bio passport expert Robin Parisotto told CyclingTips that the nature of the system means that it takes time both for anomalies to surface and also for riders to have time to defend themselves.
Kreuziger was first informed that his values were considered suspicious
On Saturday the UCI said that it was handed the rider a provisional sanction. This action blocked his return in Poland, and make his planned participation in the Vuelta a España unlikely.
Today’s statement saw the governing body refrain from elaborating on the case, nor on the criticism it has generated. “The UCI will not comment on the various statements by the rider and his team as to the merits of the case,” it said, “and will present its position in the disciplinary proceedings.”