Schumacher dissatisfied with CAS delays
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Schumacher dissatisfied with CAS delays

by Ben Atkins at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

German rider Stefan Schumacher has expressed dissatisfaction with further delays to his appeal against a two-year ban for doping, according to French sports paper l’Equipe. The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) was originally meant to have reached a decision on Schumacher’s case before Christmas, this was pushed back to January 11th but has now been delayed further until January 25th.

"I do not understand,” said Schumacher. “I expected to have the decision this week because I appealed to the CAS in March 2009 and there has still been no decision. They will soon have taken my entire suspension [to decide]."

"I have a feeling that they must think I’m innocent, but do not want to," he continued. "I did not dope, I know that all the arguments are against me, but there were so many procedural errors,"

Schumacher tested positive for the third-generation EPO variant CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. He has always argued though, that the test – carried out retrospectively by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) – was not sufficiently developed. Among other arguments, he has also claimed that the deliberate targeting of riders removed the element of anonymity, which invalidated the test results.

Michael Lehner, Schumacher’s lawyer is also bullish about the rider’s situation, also citing procedural problems in AFLD’s handling of the test.

“They cannot treat an athlete like that,” said Lehner. I think there are serious discussions in the jury and it lacks a basis for suspension because many errors were committed.”

Schumacher was one of four riders targeted and sanctioned after the 2008 Tour. The other three were Schmacher’s Gerolsteiner teammate Bernhard Kohl and Saunier Duval-Scott pair Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Riccò. Schumacher is the only one of the four not to have admitted his guilt.

Schumacher – along with Italian Olympic road race silver medallist Davide Rebellin (also a Gerolsteiner teammate) – also tested positive for CERA after his samples from the Beijing Games were retrospectively tested.

Whatever the outcome of his appeal, it’s clear that the 28-year-old intends to return to cycling. "I can not finish my career I have too much passion,” he said. “I still have ten years of competition in me. Lance Armstrong is ten years older than me and wants to race for another two years, "

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