The UCI clarified its posture on its role in the ongoing Alberto Contador doping case following reports in the Spanish media that the Spanish cycling federation is asking for the UCI to offer its judgment on the case before deciding.
The UCI confirmed Monday that the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) had forwarded documentation to the cycling governing body on December 10 for an opinion on certain aspects of the case by the UCI Anti-Doping Commission.
The UCI contends, however, that it is providing what it called a “consultative” service and that the final call remains in the hands of the Spanish authorities. The UCI also clarified that it retains its “option to appeal the RFEC’s decision.”
“This is completely standard practice, and the UCI welcomed the RFEC’s request,” the UCI wrote in a press release Monday. “The UCI responded by letter on 20 December 2010 — the date of receipt of the dossier — to set a provisional deadline for response of 24 January 2011, subject to a possible extension relating to the translation of the appended documents from Spanish as well as a comprehensive examination of these by the UCI Anti-Doping and Legal departments.”
On Sunday, the Spanish daily El País quoted unnamed sources within the Spanish cycling federation that it wanted to get both the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency to sound off on the case before making a decision.
There was no confirmation coming Monday from WADA officials on whether or not they have received a request from the Spanish federation.
On Monday, Juan Carlos Castaño, the president of the Spanish cycling federation, told AS that the request was made in part because the four panelists who will ultimately decide Contador’s fate are not experts in the anti-doping field.
“We are not expecting that the UCI and WADA decide for us,” Castaño was quoted. “The problem is that the Comité de Competición of our federation will be the ones deciding, but the Comité is comprised of lawyers, they’re not expects on medical issues and for that we’ve asked the opinion of these bodies, as well as the medical commission of our federation and the Spanish anti-doping agency.”
Castaño also said they’re hoping to reach some sort of consensus among various experts to avoid what could be a lengthy appeal process following any decision taken by the Spanish federation.
Contador, who faces up to a two-year ban after clenbuterol was found in controls during the 2010 Tour de France, also has the right to appeal.