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Due to defend their case against Roman Kreuziger next week, the UCI and WADA have instead announced that they are dropping their appeals against the previous Czech Olympic Committee’s decision to clear him of biological passport anomalies.
The UCI and WADA were due to argue their position in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport next Wednesday; instead, in a brief statement released on Friday, both bodies said they would not proceed any further.
The statement was short on detail and the UCI said that it could not comment any further at this point in time.
“Based on the availability of newly obtained information, the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) have come to the conclusion that, in accordance with the applicable UCI anti-doping rules and WADA Athlete Biological Passport operating guidelines, there is at this stage no basis to proceed further,” said the statement.
“They have therefore decided to withdraw their appeals.
“The ABP is managed by the independent Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) in Lausanne and ABP cases are prosecuted based on the opinion of an independent Expert Panel.
“Consistent with the approach taken during this entire case and in light of the confidential nature of the information concerned, the UCI and WADA are not in a position to comment further.”
It is not clear if this new information clears Kreuziger of all suspicion or simply makes the case more difficult to argue. Either way, he is able to continue racing and will not face any sanction.
It remains to be seen if this will have any effect on the use of the biological passport. The UCI has previously been successful in each case.
Background to the decision:
Kreuziger, winner of the 2013 Amstel Gold Race, came under scrutiny when it emerged last June that his biological passport showed indications of possible doping.
The data in question ran from March 2011 until August 2011 and from April 2012 until the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia. He was part of the Astana team at the time, but subsequently moved to Tinkoff Saxo and continues to race there.
His case was heard by the Czech Olympic Committee on August 20 of last year and subsequently cleared. The UCI and WADA were both unhappy with that outcome and launched appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Kreuziger repeatedly insisted upon his innocence, explaining away variations in his blood levels by saying he had been taking thyroid medication for many years.
It is not clear if the new documentation the UCI refers to relates to such medication or if it is connected to the biological passport in general.
Kreuziger has been eligible to compete this year, netting tenth in Tirreno-Adriatico, 11th in Flèche Wallonne, fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and 28th overall in the Giro d’Italia.
He is available to the team if it decides to put him into the Tour de France. He was fifth there two years ago.