Franco Pellizotti is threatening to sue the UCI for loss of earning and damages as his Biological Passport violation case looks set to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Italian was stopped from riding the Giro d’Italia last May by the Liquigas-Domo team and has not raced since. He was cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee on October 21 and has reportedly reached a deal to ride with the Movistar team but the UCI has indicated it may appeal against the Italian verdict to CAS, which would further delay Pellizotti’s hopes of a making a comeback.
According to Thursday’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Pellizotti has presented an initial request of 200,000 Euro for damages to cover his legal costs and the psychological damage he has suffered. Gazzetta suggests that figure could rise to 800,000 if Pellizotti is cleared of due to his loss of earnings during 2010.
Gazzetta reports that Pellizotti’s lawyer Rocco Taminelli has offered to reduce the request for damages if the UCI decides not to appeal to the CAS. However UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani hinted that no deal would be done as the UCI looks to defend the validity of the Biological Passport.
The UCI has until January 13 to decide whether to appeal to the CAS. Carpani refuted suggestions by Gianni Bugno, the head of the International Rider’s Association, that the UCI has put pressure on teams not to sign Pellizotti.
“Contrary to what some people want to believe, the Pellizotti case is still open. The UCI will decide in the next few days if to appeal to CAS. No decision has been made yet but understandably the idea is to go ahead with the case,” Carpani told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“If in the meantime if Pellizotti hasn’t got a team, it’s not because of the UCI, who hasn’t even suspended him as under the Biological Passport rules. If Liquigas did not renew his contract and other teams haven’t signed him, the only person responsible is probably Pellizotti. Bugno’s theory of threats to teams from the UCI is absurd.”