US Postal doping affair: CAS sets dates for cases involving Bruyneel, Martí and Celaya

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It’s been a full eight months since WADA announced that it would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an attempt to secure longer bans from cycling for former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel and two team staff. A date has now been set for that legal battle.

CAS released a list on Tuesday updating the dates of pending cases across a number of sports, and has named March 2 as the start point for three related appeals.

The first two are attempts by Johan Bruyneel and José ‘Pepe’ Martí to have their bans reduced.

The third is a bid by WADA to have those bans increased, and also to have an eight year ban handed down to former team doctor Pedro Celaya lengthened.

Bruyneel worked as the former general manager for the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams and was handed a ten year ban on April 22 last year in relation to the Lance Armstrong/USPS doping scandal.

An American Arbitration Association panel concluded that Bruyneel trafficked in performance-enhancing drugs and “was engaged in the allocation of team-related resources… causing a variety of prohibited doping substances and methods to be used expressly for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage for the teams and cyclists he managed in cycling events.”

It also said that he had encouraged riders to use doping products including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone and had profited considerably from the successes of his teams.

Martí was a former trainer with Bruyneel’s teams and was handed an eight year ban on the same date.

The AAA found he too had disregarded the rules.

“Martí was involved in administering injections of EPO, testosterone, and hGH and in transfusing blood to riders,” the panel said. “Martí worked with the USPS and Discovery Channel Cycling Teams during the period from 1999 through 2007 and thereafter worked with the Astana Cycling Team.

“Most recently, Martí worked with one or more riders on Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team until after USADA’s case was initiated.”

It is not clear who the AAA was referring to but Martí was the former trainer of Alberto Contador.

Celaya was also given an eight year ban on the same date.

Both Bruyneel and Martí appealed the rulings to CAS, seeking to have those bans reduced or overturned.

However WADA responded last June, announcing that it was not satisfied with the sanctions handed down.

“In appealing the AAA”s decision to CAS, WADA requests that consideration be given to longer sanctions for all three individuals involved in order to best protect athletes, and ensure a clean sport of cycling,” it said.

“UCI and USADA are supportive of the appeal to seek longer sanctions, and will provide support to WADA during this process.”

Kreuziger case still pending

Separately, CAS has said that no date had yet been set for the appeal by WADA and the UCI in relation to Roman Kreuziger’s biological passport case.

Kreuziger has been under investigation since last summer for possible blood doping. 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.

Kreuziger 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.

“A hearing date is fixed according to the needs of the case as well as the availability of the parties and panel members involved,” CAS communications officer Katy Hogg told CyclingTips on Tuesday.

“The hearing date for the Kreuziger case has not been finalised yet. Once it has been set, it will be published on the [CAS] website.”

Kreuziger is currently racing in the Tour of Oman.

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