UCI agrees to fast-track appeal on Kreuziger ban
GENEVA (AP) The International Cycling Union has agreed to a fast-track appeal at sport's highest court for Roman Kreuziger, who wants his provisional ban for suspected doping lifted before the Spanish Vuelta.
The Tinkoff-Saxo rider seeks a Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict before the three-week race starts Aug. 23.
Earlier Tuesday, Kreuziger claimed the UCI broke its anti-doping rules by suspending him though he never tested positive, and before opening a formal disciplinary case based on his blood values.
''(The UCI) shall cooperate with him in agreeing to an expedited proceeding that should allow CAS to decide the appeal before the beginning of the Vuelta,'' the governing body said in a statement Tuesday.
Kreuziger was provisionally suspended Saturday, when the UCI intervened on the eve of the Czech Republic rider's scheduled start in the Tour of Poland.
Long-term analysis of Kreuziger's blood values in his biological passport suggested doping in 2012.
Kreuziger and his team have claimed that his selection in Poland was allowed because the UCI took no disciplinary action since alerting him three months earlier that he was under investigation.
''The UCI will not comment on the various statements by the rider and his team as to the merits of the case and will present its position in the disciplinary proceedings,'' it said.
In a statement on his website Tuesday, Kreuziger said he and his lawyers ''strongly oppose the UCI decision'' to impose a temporary ban on him racing.
''I'm not a cheat, and I have not committed any doping offence,'' Kreuziger insisted. ''I am deeply frustrated by this current situation, which makes it impossible for me to do my job and ride my bike.''
Kreuziger had pledged Sunday to ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift the ban before the three-week Vuelta.
In June, Tinkoff-Saxo dropped Kreuziger from its Tour de France squad because of suspected discrepancies in his biological passport. The team said it wanted to avoid distractions at the sport's biggest event and to let the rider focus on his defense.
In his latest statement, Kreuziger said he wished to explain the facts to avoid any misunderstandings.
He said the UCI reviewed his blood readings from March to August 2011, and in April until the end of the Giro d'Italia in 2012. Then, Kreuziger won a Giro stage riding for the Astana team.
The UCI told the rider three months ago that a panel of experts from its independent anti-doping foundation agreed on ''probable'' doping in 2012.
''Mr. Kreuziger strongly refutes this assumption,'' the rider's statement said, citing one blood profile result which ''approached the limits ... caused by extreme dehydration after (an unsuccessful) mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia 2012.''
The 28-year-old Kreuziger has three career top-10 finishes in the Tour de France and victories in the second-tier Tour of Romandie and Tour of Switzerland stage races. He also has a one-day classic victory, in the 2013 Amstel Gold race.