A day after Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere threatened to sue the French Anti-Doping Agency, AFLD, over non-action, the agency's head, Pierre Bordry, said that it has held its hearing concerning Stefan Schumacher's positive controls for CERA last week and "the procedure is going on in the normal way".
Schumacher, who won both of the time trials in the Tour de France, was contracted to Lefevere's Quick Step team until he tested positive in the AFLD's post-Tour analysis of blood samples with its newly developed procedure for detecting the new version of the blood boosting drug erythropoeitin.
However, Schumacher, through his attorney Michael Lehner, denied using the drug and threatened to sue the AFLD for slander.
With the season already underway and no sanction yet handed down, Schumacher announced he had applied for his 2009 license, which Lehner said should be issued since there was not a procedure underway against him.
The pronouncement seemed to create massive confusion, as the German federation said that it had questions which must be answered before deciding to issue a license to Schumacher, and Patrick Lefevere of Team Quick Step threatened to take Bordry to court to find out what was happening in the case.
What was not reported until Monday was that a hearing concerning Schumacher's case with the AFLD was actually held the day after Schumacher's inflammatory pronouncements. Interviewed on muax.de, Bordry said that the case has been progressing, and that a final decision is being discussed.
The agency informed Schumacher of the positive tests on October 7. Bordry confirmed that the B samples have not yet been opened, since Lehner said on October 21 that his client did not want them analysed. Bordry thereupon requested Schumacher to let the UCI send the AFLD the results from his biological passport. "He received my letter but never responded."
The AFLD issued a complaint against Schumacher on November 14, which he received on November 20. Lehner came to Paris on November 21, Bordry continued, and looked at the files.
The next step was the hearing, which was held last week. Schumacher was informed of the date and had Lehner appear in his place. "We held the hearing on January 22 and have, as the Code requires us, informed the UCI, the WADA and the [German] NADA [anti-doping agency] of it on that same day by fax."
"Now we are discussing the matter and will make our decision," Bordry said. (SW)