The International Cycling Union has confirmed to Cyclingnews that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision of the Italian Olympic Committee to clear Franco Pellizotti of a violation of his Biological Passport.
“It's true. The line was to announce it tomorrow but I can tell you that we’ve made the appeal against the decision to acquit Pellizotti to CAS,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Pellizotti has already been told of the UCI’s decision and his lawyer Rocco Taminelli intends to request a fast track procedure. Both parties would have to agree but this could result in a rapid conclusion to the case, perhaps in just a few weeks. A normal procedure would take several months.
Pellizotti was stopped from racing by the Liquigas-Doimo team just before the Giro d’Italia last year after the UCI identified him as one of three riders who had been snared by the blood value screen system. He finished third in the 2009 Giro d’Italia and won the polka-dot climber’s jersey at the 2009 Tour de France.
Pellizotti’s defence team and an independent expert asked to pronounce on the case said that his blood variations were not significant enough to prove he had blood doped during a hearing at the Italian Anti-doping Tribunal.
The Tribunal cleared Pellizotti in October and he has apparently reached a deal to ride for the Spanish Movistar team. However before racing again, the whole case will now be examined by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.