By Susan Westemeyer
Danilo Hondo announced this morning that a Swiss court has set aside his two-year doping ban, allowing him to start racing again almost immediately. In November 2005, the Swiss Cycling Union had issued the ban, citing Hondo's positive doping tests, which was recently upheld and extended by a year upon his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, following advice from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"The court took our arguments seriously, and I am very happy about it," Hondo said on his website, danilo-hondo.de. "I have been training all along and am in good shape. Now I have to see what happens, so that I can start riding again as soon as possible."
According to Hondo's website, it was the first time ever that a civil court has overturned the decision of a sports court. He further claims that this action "could have a decided influence on the entire sport and puts to question the WADA's strict two-year ban."
Said Hondo's attorney, Michael Lehner: "We were rewarded for not giving up the fight." However, he noted "The verdict has only been set aside [not entirely dismissed - ed.]. A definitive decision by a higher civil court will come in about six months."