Stefan Schumacher likely to fight on via further court action
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Schumacher likely to fight on via further court action

by VeloNation Press at 8:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Having lost his CAS appeal against a two year ban from cycling, German rider Stefan Schumacher has indicated that he is likely to fight on by taking a case in the Swiss civil court system.

“I am a fighter,” he said, according to Dienst. “It is 99% sure that I will take a case to federal court.”

The former Gerolsteiner rider said that he would discuss the CAS ruling with his lawyer Michael Lehner, who claims that there is a good chance that the Swiss courts might see things differently.

“I have reviewed the ruling. It is in places flimsy and reprehensible,” said Lehner. “It is quite likely that Schumacher goes to the federal court.”

However even if he does so it is unlikely to shorten his current ban, as the case would almost certainly be heard after the end of his suspension on August 27th.

Schumacher won two stages and wore the yellow jersey in the 2008 Tour de France, but subsequently tested positive for the third-generation form of EPO, CERA.

He was given a two year ban by the French anti-doping agency AFLD, which was subsequently extended worldwide by the UCI.

CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) announced on Monday that these bans were valid, thus backing up a ruling made by the French Conseil d'Etat court last October.

Schumacher’s sole success was in arguing that the ban should end in August rather than in February 2011.

One possible tactic for continuing to fight on would be to offset attempts by the German federation and his former team manager Hans Michael Holczer to seek compensation from him.

Holczer and Schumacher had previously agreed on a dissolution of the contract from 15 October 2008. As the CAS ruling now judges the starting point for his ban to be August 28th, Holczer feels that he should be able to claim back the money for that period. “It is about six weeks,” he said. “I will speak with my lawyer as to whether there is a legal basis for the case.”

According to Feltet.dk, the sum concerned is estimated to be approximately 75,000 euro. Holczer also claims that Schumacher has not returned equipment, valued at 6000 euros.

The rider faces an additional hearing in front of CAS, concerning his positive tests for CERA at the 2008 Olympic Games. The German federation has indicated that it will wait until the outcome of that hearing before considering its own sanctions.

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