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by Shane Stokes
August 21, 2014
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has blocked Roman Kreuziger’s hopes of riding the Vuelta a España, deciding Wednesday that his appeal against the provisional suspension imposed on him by the UCI was invalid.
CAS issued the decision a short while ago and closed off the Czech rider’s last chance of riding the Spanish Grand Tour.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal of the Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger against the decision taken by the Anti-Doping Commission of the International Cycling Union (UCI) to provisionally suspend him from competition pending an investigation into a possible anti-doping offence,” it said in a statement.
“The rider sought to overturn such suspension in order to be able to compete in the 2014 Tour of Spain and possibly in the UCI World Road Championships.”
The CAS panel heard the case between 9.30 and 12.30 Wednesday. It comprised three arbitrators, namely Professor Michael Geistlinger of Austria, the panel president, plus the Swede Lars Nilsson and Bernhard Welten of Switzerland.
On June 28 Kreuziger and his Tinkoff Saxo team revealed that he was under investigation for alleged bio-passport irregularities. He was not selected for the Tour de France, but at the end of July the team said that it intended allowing him to ride the Vuelta a España.
The UCI then followed up on the team’s declaration by saying that it was handing the rider a provisional sanction. This action blocked his return in the Tour of Poland, and made his planned participation in the Vuelta a España unlikely. Kreuziger then confirmed on August 4 that he will appeal the decision to CAS.
The court has now decided that the UCI’s action was within the rules. This echoes a statement by the World Anti Doping Agency to CyclingTips on August 7.
“The provisional suspension issued by the UCI was a decision compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code,” a WADA spokesman said then, two days after Kreuziger said that he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“The Code does not prevent a provisional suspension in this case, not does it make it a mandatory requirement.”