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Contador’s lawyer predicts slow legal process

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Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win

Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo)

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo) (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Pietro Caucchioli when he rode for Credit Agricole

Pietro Caucchioli when he rode for Credit Agricole (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alberto Contador’s lawyer Rocco Taminelli has predicted the Tour de France winner’s doping investigation in Spain will take more than the maximum of one month as required under UCI rules.

Contador revealed that he had hired Taminelli on Wednesday but the Swiss lawyer has been working with the Tour de France winner for several weeks.

The Swiss lawyer successfully defended Franco Pellizotti in Italy after he was accused of violating the UCI’s Biological Passport. Pellizotti was cleared of a doping violation but the UCI has yet to decide whether to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“It’s still far too early to say anything because I’m still studying the documents of the case,” Taminelli told

“The only thing that I can say at the moment is that I think it’ll be difficult if the times schedule requested by the UCI is respected. The judicial process isn’t always as fast as people hope and the UCI knows all about that.”

When asked what he meant, Taminelli said, “When the UCI want to, they’re the masters at prolonging the time.”

The slow process at the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Taminelli used the Franco Pellizotti and Pietro Caucchioli cases to highlight the slow pace of disciplinary hearings and appeals to CAS.

Pellizotti was provisionally suspended in early May but was cleared by the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal. The UCI has yet to decide if it will appeal to the CAS. Pietro Caucchioli was one of the first riders caught under the UCI Biological Passport programme. He was named by the UCI on June 17, 2009, and was eventually suspended for two years in June. He has appealed against a two-year ban to the CAS. His case is likely to be the first Biological Passport case to be heard by the Swiss-based arbitration court.

The Contador case could move equally as slowly depending on the actions of the Spanish Cycling Federation and the UCI.

Taminelli explained the difference between the Contador and Pellizotti cases.

"Pellizotti’s case is different because the first level of judgment has already been made. Before November 20, the (Italian Anti-doping) Tribunal has to deposit its full sentence and then the UCI will base its appeal on the results. That can take more than the month allowed because the tactic the UCI always uses is to then ask for the full documentation of the case. The 30 days allowed only begins when they receive it. That means that from November 20, there a clear risk of reaching the beginning of 2011. That’s also because the CAS offices are always helpful to the UCI…”

Taminelli detailed how a case then proceeds at the Court of Arbitration.

“When the request arrives at the CAS, they nominate the referees (who hear the case). And then they fix a date that works for all the parties in the case. Do you think that’s easy? You should know that the UCI refused three dates in November for the Caucchioli case, and so it’s slipped to mid-December.”

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Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.