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Kreuziger to ride Tour of Poland despite passport case

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
July 30, 2014, 16:30 BST,
Updated:
July 31, 2014, 1:01 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Race:
Tour de Pologne
Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo)

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Tinkoff Saxo rider may also race Vuelta a España

Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Stefano Feltrin has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Roman Kreuziger will start the Tour de Pologne and that he may ride the Vuelta a España next month.

Kreuziger was sidelined on the eve of the Tour de France after he announced that anti-doping authorities had opened a biological passport case against him.

Kreuziger was first contacted by the UCI on the eve of the 2013 Tour de France. The anti-doping authorities had raised concerns over fluctuations in the rider's biological passport between March 2011 and August 2011, and between April 2012 through the end of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

At the time, Kreuziger rode for the Astana but made the switch to Tinkoff-Saxo at the start of the 2013 season. He was due to start this year's Tour de France but with the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) opening a formal case against him, the team were obliged to pull the rider; however they have not formally suspended him.

However, Kreuziger has not received any new information from the CAFD or the UCI and Feltrin believes that the rider is therefore eligible to race.

"It's true that Roman is on the roster. He was on it before, and we spoke to him and he said that he’s not had any new information from the UCI in terms of the sanctions so we feel, like we said before, that it’s not up to us to stop him from racing without there being solid concrete evidence," Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

"There's going to be a trial I suppose, or may be not, but as a team we have to apply the contract and that's based on the model created by the UCI and I couldn't see a clause in there that says that we have to suspend him. We have to allow him to race as long as the UCI don’t suspend him.

"We felt that it wasn't appropriate to race him at the Tour due to the timing. There's been a month and he’s had a chance to get organised. If you look at from the legal standpoint he’s innocent until proven guilty."

When asked if Kreuziger could sue Tinkoff Saxo if they continued to bench him, Feltrin replied. "Theoretically I could assume so. If you see the model contract we're obliged that he races. We have to oblige with his contract and there's no clause that says we should suspend him. We have anti-doping rules in the team but all we have here is expert opinion that something is possible. It's up to the UCI to decide and they didn't suspend him in 2012, 2013, or 2014 so far.

"If the situation doesn't change he could well do the Vuelta. He has a defence to organise but if he can concentrate on racing and had piece of mind then we'll consider him."

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