UCI to announce Hondo opinion this month

The UCI expects to issue an announcement stating its position on the Danilo Hondo case no later than the end of the month, spokesman Enrico Carpani told the German press agency dpa. Hondo's two-year doping ban was set aside by a Swiss civil court last week. Hondo has applied for a new licence, and the Swiss federation has indicated that there will no problem with it. Hondo would thus be able to ride as soon as he gets the licence, and hopes to be able to ride as of April 1. "I would like to be at the start of the Flanders Tour on April 2," he said.

However, the 32-year-old sprinter must first find a team. He said that his manager Tony Rominger is considering offers from various teams. The dpa notes that the Pro Tour teams are reluctant to commit themselves in light of the uncertain legal status, and are awaiting word from the UCI as to their standing.

But Carpani has previously told Cyclingnews that the ProTour ban may be up to the teams association to enforce: "The four years additional ban comes from the code of ethics decided on and accepted by the teams, and not by the UCI rules," he said. "The UCI has no power over that, so the decision to maintain and respect this agreement will be an exclusively 'internal affair' for them."

Hondo indicated that it must not necessarily be a ProTour team. "The important thing is to ride again, regardless of whether it is first or second division." One Continental team has already signaled possible interest. Wiesenhof-Akud's manager, Raphael Schweda, said, "If he doesn't find a Pro Tour team, then we could talk. But first we'd have to increase our budget, if the sponsor would be willing."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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