Kolobnev CAS appeal hearing date set for February
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Kolobnev CAS appeal hearing date set for February

by Shane Stokes at 8:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Tour de France positive test case to be heard in 18 day’s time

Alexandr KolobnevAs the cycling world awaits the final decisions from the Alberto Contador and Jan Ullrich cases, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed that it will hold the hearing involving Alexandr Kolobnev in just over two week’s time.

The case between the former Katusha rider, the Russian cycling federation and the UCI will take place on February 7th, and will determine if he is ultimately sanctioned or not.

Kolobnev tested positive for the diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide during the Tour de France, with his being the only positive case from the 2011 edition of the race. He was asked to leave the event, and hasn’t raced since.

Despite the controversy over the case, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree in July awarding him Kolobnev the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (silver/second-class level), awarded to Russian citizens who are deemed to have implemented “special and useful deeds for the country.”

He had previously taken two silver medals in the world road race championships plus the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Hydrochlorothiazide is listed as a specified substance by WADA and carries a possible sanction ranging from a warning to a two year suspension. Kolobnev claimed he didn’t intentionally take the diuretic. While the Russian federation deemed that he was at fault for it being in his system, it stated in October that he would not be suspended for the positive test. He was given a warning and a fine of 1,500 Swiss francs.

The UCI wasn’t satisfied with that and said in early December that it would appeal the decision to CAS. At the same time, it said that it wanted to move to a new system where national federations were no longer ruling on cases involving their own riders.

The hearing will see CAS either decide to accept the Russian federation’s decision or, alternatively, impose a ban from racing on the rider. He is currently free to race but doesn’t have a team; by voluntarily staying out of competition, he will hope that this time will be taken into consideration if he is handed a suspension.

Should Kolobnev be cleared, it is uncertain where he would find a place for 2012. Most teams are full and his Katusha team manager Hans-Michael Holczer said in December that he would have to look elsewhere, even if he wins his case.

However others in the team have played down that statement, making it clear that they don’t want to close any doors at this point in time.

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