McQuaid wants to end national federations judging doping cases
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Sunday, December 04, 2011

McQuaid wants to end national federations judging doping cases

by VeloNation Press at 8:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
UCI president wants a CAS-like system to pass initial judgement

Pat McQuaidFrustrated by the long delays and seemingly-partial decisions which have characterised recent doping cases, UCI President Pat McQuaid has confirmed that he wants a major reform of the system to take place.

In responding to a question about the Contador and Kolobnev cases, both of which have been appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Irishman told La Gazetta dello Sport that things need to change.

"We are thinking about it,” he said. “The UCI needs a new system, a court like CAS, but at the lower level, which would consider all doping cases. “If a rider wants to appeal, he can do so to CAS.

“It would be the best solution, especially as there are wide disparities in trials with different national federations. Some have an interest in protecting their riders,” he said.

The Contador and Kolobnev cases both raised questions. The first saw the Competition Committee of the Spanish Federation RFEC initially propose a year’s ban but then, following comments made by Spanish judges and the country’s prime minister that the rider should be cleared, decide to drop all penalties and clear him. It denied undue influence had swayed the decision, but was brought to CAS by both the UCI and WADA. A decision on that is expected in January 2012.

As for Kolobnev, he tested positive during the Tour de France and was requested to leave the race but, despite the doping case, was then named very soon afterwards as receiving a prestigious Russian award. The national federation dragged its heels long past the usual deadline to rule on his case and, while it ultimately found him at fault, cleared him with a minimal penalty of a warning and a fine of 1,500 Swiss Francs.

The UCI has confirmed that it will appeal the Kolobnev case to CAS. “The appeal was made on Monday,” spokesman Enrico Carpani told VeloNation this week. “The decision of the Russian federation did not conform with our regulations.”

He said that he couldn’t estimate when the hearing would take place. “From this point on it is in the hands of the CAS. We have to follow their agenda and, for now, it is impossible to say when the appeal will be heard.”

If McQuaid has his way, the proposed new system would speed up the whole process, as well as making it less likely that riders could be favoured by the same federations who benefit from their results and fame.



Editor's note: This article originally contained a quote by UCI President McQuaid which suggested that CAS will no longer hear appeals from international federations next year. CAS has denied this is the case, saying that it will do so, but that it will no longer cover the costs.

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