By Susan Westemeyer
The UCI announced that it has sent the doping file on Andrey Kashechkin to the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation, which is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter this week or next week. However, the Federation has already announced that the rider is free to return to racing, citing unresponsiveness by the UCI.
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews, "I confirm that the UCI has sent three times (!) the entire file to the Kazakh Federation. As far as we are aware, the hearing should have started yesterday and should be finished tomorrow."
The Kazakh federation had previously suspended Alexander Vinokourov for one year on similar charges.
Spanish website Todociclismo.com claimed to have seen a letter from the Kazakh federation, stating that "there are elements against opening a procedure against the cyclist Andrey Kashechkin," and guaranteeing that he "is free to return to racing." The letter is said to be endorsed by the Ministry of Sports and the national Olympic committee.
The letter details the case against Kashechkin. The rider had protested against the timing of the test and other irregularities in the testing procedure. Allegedly, the UCI did not send documentation to the federation explaining how the control had been conducted.
The website claimed that on February 13 of this year Kashechkin asked the federation to allow him to return to competition. This would be possible, according to the letter, since the UCI did not answer the outstanding questions, and his return would be supported by the federation, the government and the Olympic committee.