Rider to appeal in court
By Susan Westemeyer
The UCI has told Tinkoff Credit Systems rider Danilo Hondo that his doping suspension will be extended and that he will not be allowed to start riding again April 1. The German has said that he will not accept the decision and that he still plans to start the Brabantse Pijl on that date.
On his website, danilo-hondo.de, Hondo said that he received written notice from the UCI on Tuesday evening saying that the suspension was being extended "due to a CAS ruling." However, according to Hondo, the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announcement was not a ruling or legal decision, and did not constitute a new sentence.
His attorneys Michael Lehner and Lucien Valloni spoke with the UCI Wednesday morning. The organisation "did not want to say anything further on the situation," he reported, and therefore "we will immediately file an appeal of this decision."
A small amount of the drug Carphedon was found in Hondo's system during the Vuelta a Murcia in March 2005 while he was riding for Gerolsteiner, and in June that year, the Swiss Cycling Federation issued a two year ban, but with one year to be suspended followed by a five year probation period. The CAS said later, in January 2006, that Hondo deserved a two year ban, thereby extending his ban by one year per the advice of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Yet a year ago, in March 2006, a Swiss court set aside the two-year ban, which opened the door for Hondo to resume racing. It was the first time a civil court has overturned a CAS decision. After completing the one-year suspension, Hondo returned to the peloton in April 2006.
However, his suspension was officially reinstated in January 2007 by the Swiss Supreme Court. CAS then ruled in a clarification over the weekend that the ban must be "effectively" served, yet Hondo's attorney Michael Lehner said that such a ruling would go against the wishes of the Swiss Supreme Court's January ruling, which said: "that an athlete may not be punished for taking advantage of his right to appeal."