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by Shane Stokes
January 7, 2015
The UCI has answered claims by Tinkoff Saxo team manager Stefano Feltrin that it and WADA are responsible for the delays in Roman Kreuziger’s biological passport case, saying that suggestions it has not filed documentation are untrue.
Earlier this week Feltrin told Cyclingnews that Kreuziger was still waiting for a hearing date and that the UCI was to blame.
“Basically we don’t know about the date for the hearing and that’s the real truth when it comes to because we’re left with no information,” he said, confirming that the team might enter the rider in the Tour of Oman.
“He’s eligible to race and he’s demanded to race because he wants to return and he wants to put pressure on the UCI. For us he can race and we have to contractually race him but we want him to race as well.
“It’s unfortunate that the UCI are taking so long to file an appeal. They’re using all their remedies but it’s not in the best interest of the sport. At this point I have no idea when it could take place. The UCI need to file all their documents and they’re still doing this. Then CAS will set a date for the hearing.”
However, according to the UCI, this is not an accurate representation of the situation and blaming it for the delays is unfair.
“We don’t have any date,” a UCI spokesman told CyclingTips on Tuesday. “What I can tell you is that the UCI and WADA have sent our documentation to CAS. This was already done on December 8. We do not have any news or developments.
“From our end, we have done what we have to do.”
CyclingTips contacted the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which confirmed that the Czech rider and his legal team plus all the respondent parties – in other words, the Czech cycling federation and the Czech Olympic Committee – had until January 15 to send the necessary papers.
It therefore appears that, contrary to Feltrin’s statement, the current delay is not due to the UCI.
Once all of the respondents’ documentation is filed, the case will move closer to a hearing. CAS said that it was impossible at this point in time to give a date for that, saying that all the parties involved would have to communicate and to determine a period that is mutually suitable.
In the event that such a date could not be agreed, CAS would then be in a position to impose one.
The CAS spokesperson added that it was not possible to provide an estimated timeframe for the case to reach completion, but said that the court would try to reach a final conclusion ‘as soon as is possible.’
Kreuziger has been under investigation for possible blood doping after biological passport anomalies were detected by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF). These relate to his time with the Astana team, namely between March 2011 until August 2011 and from April 2012 until the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
He claims that treatment for hypothyroidism is responsible for the irregular blood values, and was cleared in September by the Czech Olympic Committee.
Both the UCI and WADA were dissatisfied with the outcome and appealed the matter to CAS. The UCI is seeking a period of ineligibility of between 2 and 4 years, the disqualification of all results from March 2011 until the start of the period of ineligibility plus payment of a fine of EUR 770,000 and costs.