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by Shane Stokes
August 21, 2014
Following on from Wednesday’s decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that Roman Kreuziger’s provisional ban for a suspicious biological passport profile would not be lifted, the UCI, the rider and his team owner have give their reactions.
The Tinkoff Saxo rider and his team confirmed on June 28th 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. Kreuziger confirmed on August 5 that he would appeal the decision to CAS, an effort which has now been confirmed as unsuccessful.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased with the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold the provisional suspension imposed on rider Roman Kreuziger,” said the governing body Wednesday, giving its reaction.
“This decision is a recognition of the reliability of the Athlete Biological Passport and the measures taken by the UCI to date in this case. The UCI wishes to emphasize that this is only a provisional suspension and that the hearing to decide on whether or not the rider has committed a doping offence will follow.”
It said that it would not comment any further. The procedure is ongoing and there is as yet no indication when a final decision could be reached.
If found guilty of blood doping, Kreuziger would face a lengthy ban from the sport.
Reacting via Twitter, the former Amstel Gold Race winner said he was surprised at the outcome.
“Ok, not what we expected, but we didn’t say last word! Looking forwards with Mr.Stovicek [his lawyer]…Life is full of surprised [sic].”
Team owner Oleg Tinkov had previously said he would sue the UCI over the case, claiming the governing body should have told him Kreuziger’s biological passport was suspect prior to signing him. However, as one of the bio passport experts pointed out to CyclingTips, the system can take a considerable amount of time to pinpoint anomalies.
Thus far his reaction has been limited to a Tweeted reply to Kreuziger’s own comment. “Stay cool!” he wrote. “We lost the battle but not the war. Remember, we had to let Moscow to Napoleon once, before we kick him out of Russia.”
The Tinkoff Saxo team has not yet issued an official reaction to the CAS ruling.