Both the UCI and the WADA have criticised reports this week concerning the Alberto Contador case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. With the Court's decision expected next week, various press reports this week have questioned the judges' objectivity.
Leopard Trek owner Flavio Becca started the controversy by suggesting a relationship between the fact that Contador's team, Saxo Bank, recently held a training camp in Israel, and the fact that the head judge on his case is an Israeli.
“These are two facts that cannot be separated. At this point I think everything is already decided,” Becca said.
The CAS then took the unusual step of denying any such prejudice on the part of its judges.
On January 11, the AP reported that WADA lawyers nearly walked out of the hearing last November when the CAS denied oral testimony from anti-doping expert Michael Ashenden.
Both agencies expressed their belief in the integrity of the process in separate statements issued late this week.
The WADA “wants to clarify that during the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing into the case of Alberto Contador at no stage did WADA challenge any member of the panel for a lack of independence,” it said.
The UCI “condemns” the publication of the stories this week, and “formally declares that none of its representatives have been involved in any way in this action which it deems incompatible with the good order of court proceedings."
The UCI confirms that it will continue to respect due confidentiality and the legal rights of all parties. Further the UCI reiterates its confidence in the integrity and independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and all the members of the panel.”
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