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“Why should we change now given that he won the first battle? The reason we stand by the rider is because he’s provided all the medical evidence needed for his defence.” 

Photo: Jacinto Vidarte

ROMAN KREUZIGER

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UCI

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WADA

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25.10.2014 @ 11:17 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After the recent news that the UCI and WADA will appeal the Czech Olympic Committee’s decision to clear Tinkoff-Saxo rider Roman Kreuziger of any doping charges linked to abnormal values in his biological passport while he rode for Astana in 2011 and 2012, the team has once again come out showing its support for one of their star riders.

 

The case has been going on for 15 months now, but it was only released for the public to see on the eve of this year’s Tour de France, which Kreuziger was not allowed to start in. he was then due to ride the Tour de Pologne, but the UCI provisionally suspended him and this angered Tinkoff-Saxo. 

 

The UCI is working on its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and things don’t look good for Kreuziger as the UCI are yet to lose a biological passport case.

 

“We’re sitting on the side-lines and watching as a spectator in all of this and all I can say is that it’s unfortunate that the UCI is always waiting until the last possible minute but it’s their right to prepare the case (as they like) but it’s unfortunate for cycling that it takes so long,” Stefano Feltrin, managing director of Tinkoff-Saxo, told Cyclingnews.

When asked if the UCI’s decision to seek a resolution at CAS gave the team any doubt in their support of Kreuziger, Feltrin replied: “Why should we change now given that he won the first battle? The reason we stand by the rider is because he’s provided all the medical evidence needed for his defence.” 

 

Kreuziger and his legal team are using their belief that Kreuziger suffered from severe dehydration, something Brit Jon Tiernan-Locke recently used as his reason for abnormal values, and he was handed a two-year ban.

 

“We’re suffering,” Feltrin added. “We were not involved when the abnormalities took place. We asked the rider to provide evidence for his defence and this was provided and now it’s a question over whether we believe it was sufficient or not. We hope that the CAS panel believe the rider so that we can put this to rest.”

 

Both Feltrin and the UCI Have pointed out that the way the biological passport cases are dealt with needs changing, as it is a lengthy process. For now, there is no date for the CAS hearing and both the UCI and Tinkoff-Saxo could be waiting months for a verdict.

 

“Whatever the outcome the way the Biological Passport is managed needs to change because we think that this case has showed the problems in the management in what is a very important instrument,” Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

“If Roman wins the case we don’t want that considered as a loss for the Biological Passport. That shouldn’t be the case. It should be a way to improve it and whatever happens the Passport should remain in place and improved. We can all learn from this and put safeguards in place for the riders.”

 

“We’ve seen that abnormalities in the Passport can be interpreted and explained in different ways and it’s now a question of what level of explanation you need from the rider and what level of uncertainty you need to accept in the process. The passport is a wonderful tool but it should be made better and it should be there to safeguard the riders.” 

 

Feltrin also told Cyclingnews that whatever the outcome of the case is, the team would accept it, although they do believe Kreuziger is innocent.

 

“We believe in what he’s saying. Now will his truth remain as the judicial truth at the end of the case? We don’t know but whatever the outcome of the case we’ll abide by the decision and take that as the ultimate truth.” 

 

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