PARIS, Sept 17, 2010 (AFP) – Cycling’s world ruling body lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Friday in a bid to overturn a decision by the Slovenian cycling federation not to sanction Tadej Valjavec.
Valjavec was provisionally suspended by his French team AG2R-La Mondiale earlier this year after the International Cycling Union (UCI) revealed that blood parameters on his biological passport showed signs of suspected doping.
In accordance with UCI regulations, the rider’s national federation was asked to begin disciplinary proceedings against Taljavec, a strong stage racer who has twice finished in the top ten of the Tour of Italy 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 arbitrary body 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 ‘spikes’ or parameters appear. It has also been used by the UCI to specifically target riders whose blood profiles appear suspicious with doping tests.
Valjavec is one of three riders, along with the Italian Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Spaniard Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia), whom the UCI have suspected of doping this year based on evidence from their respective passports.