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Initially second in the 2010 Vuelta a España but later losing that result and incurring a two year ban due to a positive test for hydroxethyl starch, Ezequiel Mosquera was cleared earlier this month by a Spanish court.
However the retired rider’s chance of having his result restored and ban recognised as quashed in a sporting sense appears very uncertain after the World Anti Doping Agency gave its position Thursday on the matter.
“In Spain, there is a civil law process where athletes found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation, and who have been banned from international competition, still have the option to seek redress in the national civil courts,” a WADA spokesman told CyclingTips.
“Spanish athletes who have therefore been banned by the internationally accepted process, including appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, can apply to the civil court in Spain. Any redress received however cannot be upheld internationally and therefore there is no reduction nor change to the sanction imposed pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Code.
“The case you mention is presently being reviewed by WADA.”
Asked for clarification as to what exactly that meant vis-à-vis his previous runner-up slot, WADA said that it was unable to comment further as the case is being reviewed by it.
The final outcome could be of high relevance to the sport, not least because it reflects a bid by a rider who previously agreed to abide by the rules of cycling to go a different route than the usual national federation/Court of Arbitration for Sport two tier process.
It will also be important in light of an earlier Spanish court decision in relation to Robert Heras’ positive test for EPO in the 2005 Vuelta a España.
He was stripped of that result in February of 2006. However in June 2011 the Administrative Division of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y Leon overturned his suspension and declassification from victory in the Vuelta.
The website of the Vuelta organisers currently list Denis Menchov, the rider who was originally second overall behind Heras, as being the final winner.
Menchov himself is tainted by a doping case. Last July the UCI confirmed that he had been given a two year ban over biological passport violations, although the Russian had already retired.
The period related to the 2009, 2010 and 2012 seasons and he was stripped of his results in the Tour de France during that time.