As UCI President Brian Cookson revealed to Cyclingnews during the Tour de France presentation in Paris on Wednesday, the sport's international governing body has decided to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the Czech Olympic Committee to clear Roman Kreuziger of a Biological Passport violation.
The UCI confirmed the decision in a brief statement on its website on Thursday afternoon, revealing that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would also be part of the appeal.
"After reviewing the full case file, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), joined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has decided to appeal the Czech Olympic Committee hearing panel's decision to acquit Roman Kreuziger following anomalies that were found in the rider’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)," a statement reads.
"Having carefully considered the decision, the UCI and WADA are filing an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with the request that consideration be given to a sanction for Kreuziger that is fully compliant with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code."
"Very serious anomalies"
The UCI has always defended the validity of the Biological Passport programme, believing the longitudinal blood tests are a vital tool in the fight against doping in sport. Kreuziger has already been provisionally suspended once by the UCI in the long and drawn out affair relating to what the Cookson described to Cyclingnews as "very serious anomalies" in his blood values from the 2011 and 2012 Giro d'Italia, when the rider was part of Team Astana.
Kreuziger will have to justify and explain the unusual blood parametres the UCI claims to have identified in his Biological Passport data if he wants to avoid a two-year ban for doping.
In a previous statement on his personal website, the Czech rider claimed he "only approached the limits (of the Biological Passport) on one occasion, which was caused by extreme dehydration after (an unsuccessful) mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia 2012." He also claims three experts backing his claim that the CAFD panel is wrong in its judgement.
"I am deeply frustrated by this current situation, which makes it impossible for me to do my job and ride my bike. I’m not a cheat, and I have not committed any doping offence," Kreuziger said in the summer when he was stopped from racing.
The Lausanne-based CAS has yet to set date for any hearing but case of this kind generally take several months before a final verdict is reached.
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