Contador’s not free to race

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Alberto Contador has been provisionally suspended following his positive test for Clebuterol. Only there seems to be some confusion over his eligibility to race.

The UCI has not yet notified us that we need to suspend his license” says Juan Carlos Castaño, president of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC). You can read a fuller report of the Spanish confusion at Velonation.

Castaño hasn’t done his homework

But there should not be any confusion here as the rules are clear. Just in case Señor Castaño is part of the growing band of Inner Ring readers, here’s what happens.

First the UCI was mandated as the authority in charge of anti-doping controls during the Tour de France. As such it was a UCI test that found Contador to be positive and it was the UCI that notified Contador of this “adverse analytical finding”.

Rule 202 of the UCI’s Cycling Regulations states:

The UCI shall conduct results management where the UCI has jurisdiction for Testing or otherwise under these Anti-Doping Rules.

…and rule 203 is a follow up to this:

The UCI shall refer results management concerning a License-Holder who usually does not participate in International Events, to the License-Holder’s National Federation, who shall conduct results management in substantial conformity with this chapter.

Put simply it means that the UCI is in charge because Contador is a rider competing in major events. If he was a small fry amateur then the case would be delegated to the RFEC, but clearly this isn’t the case.

Thus the UCI notified Contador and it is between both of these parties to ensure the suspension. Contador should know that he is not allowed to take part in any form of officially sanctioned cycling event.

Perhaps the UCI could notify the RFEC out of politeness… but news of the suspension should not be a surprise to the Spanish. Under the rules Contador should know he can’t take part in any event and above all a national governing body like the RFEC should realise that it is not involved in the provisional suspension.

What next?
It’s rule 234 that would see the baton handed to the RFEC:

If upon conclusion of the results management process, the UCI makes an assertion that an anti-doping rule violation has taken place, it shall request the National Federation of the License-Holder to instigate disciplinary proceedings.

But there is no conclusion of the UCI investigation. The UCI has yet to rule on Contador’s case, it simply has the results of the positive A and B samples and has provisionally suspended Contador. It has not yet stated whether disciplinary proceedings will go ahead.

Until then the head of the RFEC would do well to learn the rules of the sport. This is a major issue for the sport, people should be on top of their game here. It would help of those in charge of applying the rules could be bothered to read them.

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{ 6 comments }

Duncan October 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Good to see someone knows the rules. A shame senior officials and the media don't.

Anonymous October 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Where can I find these rules please?

Jay T. October 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

C'mon Spain, you're embarrassing yourselves…

Anonymous October 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Nicely spotted.

Anonymous October 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

How can we be sure the UCI has actually officially told the Spanish federation? It's not as if the UCI are a perfect organisation!

TheInnerRing October 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm

In response to the comments, the UCI regulations are available at http://www.UCI.ch , just click on the "anti-doping" link and then look for documents on the following page.

As for the comment above about telling the Spanish, that's my point: the UCI doesn't have to tell the Spanish yet. The Spanish federation is merely a spectator now, until the UCI decides any sanction.

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