UCI says it backs CAS independence in Contador hearing
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Friday, January 13, 2012

UCI says it backs CAS independence in Contador hearing

by Shane Stokes at 4:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
States it was not involved in leaking any information about proceedings

Alberto ContadorCycling’s world governing body the UCI has said that it has confidence in the Court of Arbitration for Sport panel assessing the Alberto Contador case, and that it was not involved in leaking any information about the hearing.

“The International Cycling Union (UCI) condemns the publication this week of information concerning the Alberto Contador hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” it said in a statement.

“The UCI 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.”

It added that it had confidence in the ‘integrity and independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and all the members of the panel.’

The governing body is referring to an AP story released two days ago which stated that WADA was upset by the CAS panel’s handling of the case, and that it considered walking out after Michael Ashenden, one of its main witnesses, was blocked from giving evidence.

WADA yesterday issued a brief statement on the matter. It said that it wanted ‘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.’

As the article’s author John Leicester pointed out today, the story didn’t state what WADA appears to be referring to. “WADA's use of word "challenge" is, IMHO, deliberate,” he said on Twitter this morning. “It cud [could] have challenged Barak's appointment if it had solid evidence, but did not. Story didn’t suggest that WADA "protested against" Barak, as some now mistakenly reporting. In fact it said exact opposite.”

The section Leicester is referring to concerns CAS panel chairman Efraim Barak’s visits to Spain for two conferences prior to the CAS hearing. The article stated: “One participant said WADA's team informally voiced its disquiet to the CAS secretary general, Matthieu Reeb,” [prior to the start of the appeal – ed.] But WADA lawyers didn't formally challenge Barak's appointment, which suggests they had no solid evidence to successfully argue he should stand aside.”

However the article stated that WADA filed a general written complaint at the end of the hearing [about the panel as a whole – ed]. “It alleged the CAS panel failed to respect WADA's right to be heard, including barring questions to Ashenden on the transfusion scenario.”

Today’s UCI statement concluded by asking the sporting community to ‘await the result of the deliberations of the panel with serenity and due respect for the judicial process.’

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