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Hondo goes back to court

Hondo will be wearing ties for a bit longer

Hondo will be wearing ties for a bit longer (Image credit: Gregor Brown)

By Susan Westemeyer

Danilo Hondo's never-ending doping-related story is moving into the next chapter. The Schwiezer Kantonsgericht in Kanton Waadt has scheduled oral arguments for April 17 on the question of whether he will be allowed to ride again as of April 1.

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 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).

A Swiss court subsequently overturned that ban and allowed Hondo to return to racing, but the Swiss Supreme Court reinstated his suspension in January 2007. Earlier this month, the CAS issued a clarification that the ban must be "effectively" served, and the UCI subsequently ordered the suspension to run through January 2008.

Hondo has now further appealed that decision in the Swiss courts, and hopes that the hearing "will clear up which legal opinion is correct," he wrote on his website, danilo-hondo.de.

"This is not a good situation for me or for my team. But we are confident and will master this situation professionally. After all, there are many great races this year in which I would like to present myself," he said.

Meantime, he will participate in a two-week training camp in Tuscany with team-mates from Team Tinkoff Credit Systems, "to keep in touch with competitive conditions."

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