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Kreuziger denies blood passport abnormalities, pulled from Tour de France squad

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
June 28, 2014, 16:07 BST,
Updated:
June 28, 2014, 19:36 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 29, 2014
Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo)

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Passport data from days at Astana

Roman Kreuziger has announced that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) has found anomalies in his biological passport between 2011 and 2012 and that he is under investigation. The Tinkoff Saxo rider broke the news on his personal website but stated that experts he had commissioned found that his passport had no questions to answer. He denied doping or taking performance-enhancing products. During the period in question Kreuziger rode for the Astana team.

As a result of today's news Tinkoff Saxo has confirmed that Kreuziger will not ride the Tour de France.

“After receiving this notification I immediately had the data in my biological passport checked by two accredited experts, who in September and October last year unanimously concluded that the values were due to causes that were not due to the use of doping substances or methods,” the rider’s statement read.

“As requested by the U.C.I., I immediately passed the experts’ conclusions on to them.”

“The U.C.I. and CAFD checked these conclusions and in a notification of 30.05.2014, namely almost eight months after they had been sent and gave me a term only until 09.06.2014 to decide how to proceed.”

“I requested and obtained a very short extension until 30.06.2014 to reply although I had requested a longer extension because of the necessities indicated to me by the new and third expert whose services I had meanwhile engaged to obtain a further third authoritative opinion.”

“I was refused this extension although I pointed out that their experts (CAFD experts) had required over seven months to evaluate the comments of my experts‘ conclusions.”

“Nevertheless, also this third expert confirmed that the data in my biological passport are absolutely normal and give no grounds for suspecting the use of doping substances or methods.”

“In order to obtain a certain technical evaluation of the data in my biological passport, I should emphasize that the experts I appointed are trustworthy, independent and of three different nationalities and I requested an assessment from them that was absolutely and totally unbiased and as objective as possible.”

The rider also confirmed that he had notified his team of the investigation.

“I also, duly, informed my team, Tinkoff-Saxo, of this procedure and informed them that I had not taken any forbidden substances or used any forbidden methods and that I was determined to challenge any differing construction of the facts, from which I intend to defend myself in the appropriate quarters, even by the more expedite legal proceeding, in order to establish in the fastest possible way the truth in this matter.”

“I thus remain at the full disposal of my team and confirm that I shall abide by whatever decision they decide to take.”

Tinkoff-Saxo release statement

Tinkoff-Saxo (TCS) has been notified by our rider Roman Kreuziger that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is likely due to instigate disciplinary proceedings against him arising from an alleged violation of its anti-doping rules due to abnormalities detected in his Biological Passport in 2011 and 2012.

According to the UCI’s Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) its Experts Panel has concluded that Roman Kreuziger's blood passport profile shows abnormalities established from March 2011 until August 2011 as well as from April 2012 until the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, periods prior to the rider signing with TCS.

The rider received notice from the UCI that CAFD regarded his data as suspect by a letter dated 28 June 2013. The notice provided him with the opportunity of explaining the alleged irregularities in his passport to CAFD and UCI.

He offered the explanation, based on two medical expert opinions independently of each other, that the fluctuations in his blood passport profile were not abnormalities and did not indicate anti-doping violations, which was submitted to the UCI by 3 October 2013.”

The rider had no further contact with the UCI until receiving a letter of 30 May 2014. He was advised that the CAFD’s Experts Panel did not accept his explanation.

Since Roman Kreuziger received the UCI’s letter of 30 May he has sought the services of a third independent expert. This scientist has now provided a preliminary report in which he concludes that the fluctuations in his Biological Passport profile are not irregularities which can only be explained with the use of doping methods or substances (as alleged) and that the conclusions of CAFD’s Experts Panel have limited scientific supporting evidence.

When Roman Kreuziger received the first notice by the end of June 2013, he promptly informed the team about the letter. He was adamant that he never used doping methods or substances. Through our own medical staff and independent verification the team was satisfied that Roman's blood profile had valid medical and scientific explanations other than the use of doping methods or substances. This was subsequently confirmed by the expert opinions Roman shared with the team.

Roman Kreuziger continues to deny any wrongdoing and has informed the team that he intends to defend himself against the charges.

The team has decided, in agreement with Roman, that he will not ride in any races including this year’s Tour de France until more information becomes available to the team.

Though he won't be racing for now, until more information becomes available to the team it will not provisionally suspend Roman unless required by the UCI or the Czech Federation.

At this stage, the team has no further details to add until the initial process is concluded.

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