By Gabriella Ekström
Swedish cyclist Thomas Åberg won the Masters World Championship time trial last year, but lost his gold medal and received a two year suspension after he failed to show up at the post race doping control. Åberg has appealed against the decision ever since, claiming that he as a veteran rider never received enough information about the doping tests.
Although it is the rider's responsibility to show up for a test, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has now reduced his suspension by one year, leaving Åberg able to race after October 5, 2005.
CAS writes, "The Panel finds that the Appellant's negligence for not appearing to the anti-doping control was not significant and deems the two-year suspension unduly harsh. In accordance with Art 265 ADR, the two-year suspension may be reduced not more than to half of this duration. The Panel considers that a one-year suspension is appropriate in the circumstances. The appeal is thus partially and the suspension imposed on the Appellant reduced to one year, starting on 5 October 2004."
Thomas Åberg himself says that it feels as if he has won half a victory, and that he is coming to terms with the fact that he will never get his gold medal back.