The UCI has lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to overturn a decision by the Slovenian cycling federation not to sanction Tadej Valjavec.
AG2R-La Mondiale sacked Valjavec earlier this year after the UCI announced that blood parameters on his biological passport showed signs of suspected doping.
The UCI asked his national federation to begin disciplinary proceedings against Taljavec, a strong stage racer who has twice finished in the top 10 of the Giro d’Italia and finished 10th in the 2008 Tour de France.
The Slovenian federation, however, has refused to take any action against the rider, prompting UCI’s appeal to CAS.
The biological passport is the UCI’s latest weapon against doping in the sport and is a pre-requisite for any professional racer.
It charts the rider’s blood profiles throughout his career and authorities act when and if unusual parameters appear. The UCI also has used the passport to specifically target riders whose blood profiles appear suspicious with doping tests.
Valjavec is one of three riders, along with Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia), whom the UCI have suspected of doping this year based on evidence from their respective passports.