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by Shane Stokes
October 24, 2014
Both the World Anti Doping Agency and the UCI have decided to fight the decision taken last month by the Czech Olympic Committee to clear Roman Kreuziger of anomalies in his biological passport, with the bodies confirming that they will bring the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“After reviewing the full case file, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), joined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has decided to appeal the Czech Olympic Committee hearing panel’s decision to acquit Roman Kreuziger following anomalies that were found in the rider’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP),” said the UCI in a statement Thursday.
“Having carefully considered the decision, the UCI and WADA are filing an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with the request that consideration be given to a sanction for Kreuziger that is fully compliant with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code.”
Both bodies indicated that they would not comment further until a decision had been made by CAS.
Kreuziger had been under investigation for possible blood doping after biological passport anomalies were detected by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).
The Tinkoff Saxo rider was not selected for the Tour de France by his team but at the end of July it said that it intended allowing him to ride the Vuelta a España. The UCI responded by handing the rider a provisional suspension, something which blocked his return in the Tour of Poland and made his planned Vuelta participation unlikely.
He tried to sidestep this by lodging an appeal against that provisional suspension to CAS, but it confirmed the CADF course of action on August 21st.
The Czech Olympic Committee (COC) subsequently considered the case and said on September 22 that Kreuziger ‘did not violate anti-doping rules.’
It said that it had assessed the existing evidence plus expert reports and opinions submitted by the various parties to the commission.
“The commission took account of the fact that the value of the athlete’s Biological Passport did not exceed the so-called basal (extreme) values, taking into account expert opinions submitted by the International Cycling Federation and by the athlete called.”
It said that Kreuziger argued against the charges and that the COC had concluded that he was telling the truth and that there was no proof he had violated anti-doping regulations.
However, given that exceeding extreme values is not necessary to trigger a biological passport case, an appeal by the UCI appeared likely. That has now been confirmed and, with WADA also on board, Kreuziger has a big fight on his hands if he is to avoid a lengthy suspension.