USADA permits Pepe Marti’s request for arbitration in US Postal Service case
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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

USADA permits Pepe Marti’s request for arbitration in US Postal Service case

by Shane Stokes at 3:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Spaniard had previously been banned after not responding to charges

Floyd Landis Lance ArmstrongAlthough former USPS team trainer Pepe Marti was handed a lifetime ban last month after he did not respond to doping charges put to him by USADA on June 29th, the Agency has now indicated that it is willing to put that suspension on hold.

The Spaniard has requested, and been granted, a hearing from the agency, as it explained in a statement today.

“Despite USADA having been in contact with his legal counsel, Mr. Marti did not notify USADA of his desire to move forward with an arbitration hearing prior to the deadline and so in accordance with the rules, the sanction was imposed. After the announcement was made, representatives for Mr. Martí contacted USADA and said that Mr. Martí wanted to have his case heard in the arbitration process,” it wrote.

“USADA believes that anyone charged with a doping violation should have the opportunity to have a full, fair, public hearing in accordance with the rules where all of the evidence will be presented and witness testimony will be given under oath in front of an independent group of arbitrators who ultimately decide the case.”

It added that in order to enable Marti to fully exercise his rights, it would move ahead with arbitration, suspending the original lifetime ban.

More details of the situation emerged afterwards as part of a legal filing from USADA to the Texas court which is considering Lance Armstrong’s application to stop his arbitration hearing.

That USADA filing included the arbitration agreement between USADA and Marti, and this lays out the reason for the decision.

“Mr Marti is represented in this matter by Mr. Jesús Morant Vidal and the law firm of Bufete Semere Jaén SL,” it states.

“USADA sent a communication to Mr. Marti’s Legal Counsel dated June 28, 2012, at the email address bufetesj@bufetesj.com. Although the email address is an appropriate email address at which to send correspondence to Mr. Martí’s Legal Counsel and although Mr Marti’s Legal Counsel had received other communication from USADA at the email address, Mr. Martí’s legal Counsel has stated to USADA that he did not receive the June 28th USADA and that prior to July 10, 2012, neither Mr. Martí’s Legal Counsel nor Mr. Martí received either actual or constructive notice of the opportunity to contest Mr. Martí’s sanction before an arbitration panel of the American Arbitration Association.”

As a result, USADA has agreed to now allow the Spaniard fight his case. In return, Martí and his legal team have agreed not to take action against USADA or to try to sidestep the arbitration hearing over the previous announcement that he had been found guilty through not responding to the charges.

Marti will join former team manager Johan Bruyneel plus current RadioShack Nissan doctor Pedro Celaya as those set for arbitration.

Ferrari had previously claimed not to receive any correspondence but VeloNation understands that an individual sought to hand deliver USADA’s notice letter to him. The Italian refused to accept it and the letter was left in a prominent position for him.

He was banned for life, as was Del Moral, who waived the right to an AAA hearing.

The latter’s sentence was underlined yesterday by the International Tennis Federation, which stated that it “recognises and respects the lifetime ban imposed on Dr Luis Garcia del Moral by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for various Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

“Dr Garcia del Moral practices sports medicine in Valencia, Spain, and in that capacity has worked with various tennis players.”

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