By Shane Stokes
UCI President Pat McQuaid is keen to see that the right to test athletes is upheld. "My understanding is that today's case is only a short proceeding looking for an injunction to allow him to continue racing until a full hearing [on the legality of out of competition testing] takes place," UCI President Pat McQuaid told Cyclingnews early on Tuesday.
"It could be another six or nine months before that takes place. But either way, it is a fairly serious case. Kashechkin hasn't denied that he was caught positive, he is just going against the system. If he were to win this, it would be a serious blow to the whole anti-doping fight in all sports, not just in cycling. It would have serious repercussions. For that reason, the UCI would certainly be very hopeful that he doesn't win the case."
McQuaid argues that there is a code of conduct that sports people need to adhere to, and that that is the real issue. "In my opinion, when an athlete comes into a system, he accepts the rule of the system, the rules of the sport. These guys are role models... they are paid very big sums of money and are role models for people. They must accept that there are certain things that they have to put up with as a result of that, in order that sport remains clear and fair for everybody.
"Kashechkin is trying to break that system. I think that is crazy. The majority of people feel the need for out-of-competition testing. They understand that most of the doping done in modern sport is done out-of-competition, so therefore you must have a means of testing for that. 99 percent of the athletes understand that. This is just a means for him to try and get around the fact that he was caught positive."
McQuaid was one of those who recently agreed on extensive new anti-doping measures at a summit held in Paris. The so-called biological passports further move cycling ahead of other sports in the fight against doping.
Indeed the recent Martina Hingis case illustrates the differences amongst various sporting bodies, as it took several months for it to emerge that the Swiss star had tested positive at this year's Wimbledon tournament. It was the player herself who made the news public rather than the Women's Tennis Association.