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CAS hears Caucchioli's appeal against biological passport suspension

Pietro Caucchioli presented an appeal against his two-year ban for doping before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday. It is the first legal challenge to the International Cycling Union's biological passport programme.

A decision is expected within a few weeks.

The Italian never tested positive for a banned substance but was one of five riders named in June 2009 for having abnormal biological passport values. In June of this year the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal fuond him guilty  banned him for two years.

Caucchioli was discovered with abnormal results in September 2008 before the Tour de Pologne, when he was with the French team Credit Agricole. He was with the Lampre team when he was named in 2009.

In 2001, while with Alessio, Caucchioli won two stages at the Giro d'Italia and the following year finished third overall in the race.

CAS will soon hear another appeal as the fight over the validity of the biological passport system intensifies. The UCI has appealed against the decision to drop charges against Slovenian rider Tadej Valjavec for violations of the biological passport programme. That hearing is scheduled for January 20.

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