UCI to appeal Oscar Sevilla suspension to CAS
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

UCI to appeal Oscar Sevilla suspension to CAS

by Ben Atkins at 1:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Six-month ban handed down by RFEC “not in accordance with the regulations”

oscar sevillaThe International Cycling Union (UCI) is to appeal the six-month suspension of Oscar Sevilla to the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS), El Pais reports. The Spanish veteran tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch (HES) during the Vuelta a Colombia in August 2010, but was not sentenced by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) until September of this year. The UCI feels that this sentence is too lenient; most of it would come during the off-season.

“It’s true, the UCI has appealed,” UCI spokesman told AFP. “The Spanish federation’s decision is not in accordance with the regulations.”

The RFEC had originally recommended a two-year ban for the rider, but apparently accepted his defence that he had been treated in Colombian hospital after a serious crash and HES had been used because he had lost a lot of blood. Sevilla now permanently lives in Colombia, and is considering taking Colombian citizenship in order to be able to race in the London Olympics next year.

While an appeal has been lodged, a date has not been set; before that though, the RFEC must send its lawyers to Lausanne, where the CAS is based, between November 21st and 24th, where it will have to defend its decision not to suspend Alberto Contador for his positive for clenbuterol in the 2010 Tour de France.

Sevilla was implicated in Operación Puerto in 2006, while riding for T-Mobile alongside Jan Ullrich, although he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Spanish authorities soon afterwards. He was fired by the T-Mobile team though, and never returned to the same level; he spent 2007 with Relax-Gam, then was at Rock Racing between 2008 and 2009, with an investigation relating to the latter squad leading to the Federal investigation that has since included Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Team.

This season Sevilla was riding for Colombian Continenta team Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia, finishing fifth in the Vuelta a Colombia, fourth in the Tour of Utah, and 18th in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.

While HES is not a performance enhancer itself, as a blood-volume expander it can be used to mask the use of EPO and other blood-boosters, which is why it is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list; its use is only banned if it is injected intravenously, which can complicate anti-doping cases. Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for the substance on the way to finishing second in the 2010 Vuelta a España. Although he has not raced for his new team, Vacansoleil-DCM, his case has yet to be heard by the RFEC.

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