CAS rules against UCI in case brought by Riis over Contador and blocking of riders’ points
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CAS rules against UCI in case brought by Riis over Contador and blocking of riders’ points

by VeloNation Press at 7:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

Bjarne Riis Alberto ContadorA controversial UCI rule blocking the consideration of points of riders after they returned from doping bans has been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The case was taken by Team Saxo Tinkoff owner Bjarne Riis, who was protesting the UCI’s decision to not allow any of Alberto Contador’s points to be considered for two years after the end of his ban.

Riis argued that the rule was effectively an extra punishment for riders, over and beyond what was reasonable. The effect of the points block was that his team was left outside the top fifteen ranked teams last year, and had a long and nerve-wracking fight to secure a place in the 2013 WorldTour.

In recent years the UCI has used a team points ranking in determining which squads can be considered for WorldTour status. The points regulation was intended to act as a deterrent for the top teams not to sign banned riders after they returned.

Riis has long considered taking a case and pressed ahead earlier this year. He said in April that Contador’s situation was the catalyst for action. “Alberto is a very expensive rider for any team to hire and naturally having him on a team and not earning points makes it difficult for a team to remain in the WorldTour,” he stated then.

“I understand the UCI's position but I think we can show that it needs to be changed.”

Earlier, in July 2012, he told Telesport that he believed the UCI was wasting time on such matters. “The UCI would like to do things in their own interest,” he stated. “It would be better if they did more good things for cycling, rather than fighting teams over several things.”

The outcome is a moot point, in ways, as WADA is introducing four year bans for serious doping offences. It means that sportspeople who use substances such as EPO or indulge in blood doping would face a doubling of the current standard ban.

That would be a far bigger deterrent than a loss of points for an additional 24 months after a two year ban.


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