The International Cycling Union has confirmed it is advising the Spanish Cycling Federation on technical aspects of the Alberto Contador case but has reaffirmed that the Real Federacion Espanola de Ciclismo (REFC) is wholly responsible for any decision regarding disciplinary action and any eventual suspension.
Reports in the Spanish media had indicated that the RFEC hoped to somehow share responsibility for the case with the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency to avoid accusations of national bias. However the UCI revealed it only acting as a consultant on the scientific content of a dossier send from Spain and assisting with translations.
“This is completely standard practice, and the UCI welcomed the RFEC's request,” the UCI explained in a press release. “On 10 December 2010, the RFEC sent the UCI documentation relating to the preparation of the case, requesting an opinion by the UCI Anti-Doping Commission on the scientific content of this dossier.”
“The UCI responded by letter on 20 December 2010 – the date of receipt of the dossier – to set a provisional deadline for response of 24 January 2011, subject to a possible extension relating to the translation of the appended documents from Spanish as well as a comprehensive examination of these by the UCI Anti-Doping and Legal departments.”
“The UCI thus confirms that all the scientific information of the case is currently being studied by the above-mentioned departments and that the RFEC will receive the requested opinion as soon as possible.”
“The UCI however reiterates that the RFEC's action is purely consultative as the responsibility for the decision at this stage of a disciplinary procedure lies solely with the rider's National Federation.”
“If necessary, the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency have the option to appeal the RFEC’s decision.”
Reports in Spain have indicated that a verdict on the case could be reached some time in mid-February. But any appeal by the UCI or WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport would take several months and mean Contador misses much of the 2011 even if he is cleared.