Former Gerolsteiner rider Danilo Hondo had been hoping that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would let him race again in 2006, appealing the decision of the Swiss cycling Union with the Lausanne court and asking for acquittal of his case, as only very small amounts of doping substance Carphedon were found in his body in the Vuelta a Murcia in March 2005. Instead, the CAS has announced yesterday that Hondo deserved in fact a two-year ban - one additional year that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had demanded in the trial, as it was also one of the parties involved in the case alongside the UCI, Swiss Cycling and Hondo himself.
The 31 year-old German will therefore not return to racing any time soon, and it is speculated that this will be the end of his career altogether. Hondo is currently training in Swiss ski station Sankt Moritz, as he had hoped to come back to his Gerolsteiner squad as of April 1. "It's merciless, wrong, unfair and bitter," was the first reaction of Hondo's attorney Michael Lehner. "It's absolutely terrible for the rider."
In fact, the amount of the banned stimulant found in Hondo's A and B probes was so small that it could not have had any performance-enhancing effects according to professor Werner Franke, who acted as a defense witness. Nevertheless, the CAS applied cycling's rules and regulations to the letter, saying that Carphedon was a stimulant which had been undoubtedly identified in Hondo's A and B samples by the assigned laboratory in Madrid. This offense is punished with a two-year ban from cycling, as well as another two-year ban from racing in the ProTour.