CAS hearings in Pellizotti and De Bonis cases start next week
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Friday, February 18, 2011

CAS hearings in Pellizotti and De Bonis cases start next week

by VeloNation Press at 4:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
The cases may endanger the UCI's blood passport program

Franco PellizottiThe International Sports Court of Arbitration (CAS) will start its hearings in the cases of the International Cycling Union (UCI) next week. The first case heard is that of Francis de Bonis (February 25), the second one that of Franco Pellizotti (March 2). The rulings will be of high importance for the UCI, as it could bring its whole blood passport program into question.

The program seeks to suspend riders on the grounds of suspicious blood readings that are regularly collected. The profiling started in 2008. Four of the over 800 registered riders have been suspended under the program so far: de Bonis, Pellizotti, Pietro Caucchioli and Tadej Valjavec.

Pellizotti was suspended under the recommendation of his National Olympic Committee (CONI). He was cleared by the Italian Anti Doping Tribunal (TNA) in October and has announced he would sue the UCI. The UCI did not back down and filed an appeal by the January 13 deadline. Pellizotti faces two separate trials. One is against CONI and the UCI, the other is against the UCI and FCI, the Italian Cycling Federation.

The program intends to circumvent the problem that athletes can use new products for which no tests have been developed yet. The indirect proof by the blood profile avoids this problem, but stands on tough legal legs. The De Bonis and Pellizotti cases will thus give a good indication about the strength of the program that was put up by the UCI with a strong financial effort.

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