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June 5, 2015–Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger said Friday he was free to race after the international cycling union UCI and the WADA anti-doping watchdog dropped a doping case against him.
“I am happy and relieved that this case has come to an end. It has been a very difficult period,” Kreuziger said in a statement after the UCI and WADA had withdrawn their appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The UCI sanctioned the Tinkoff rider in 2014 for anomalies in his biological passport during two distinct periods — from March to August 2011 and April 2012 to the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia — when he was riding for the Astana team.
Kreuziger was dropped by Tinkoff from the 2014 Tour de France because of the charges, having finished fifth in the 2013 edition. He resumed racing last September after the Czech Olympic Committee cleared him of the charges. But the CAS reopened the case a month later when the UCI appealed the Czech committee’s decision.
The UCI and WADA said in a joint statement on Friday that “based on the availability of newly obtained information… (they) have come to the conclusion that… there is at this stage no basis to proceed further.” The decision to drop the case comes a week ahead of a CAS hearing scheduled for June 10.
“I am happy that the Athlete Biological Passport process has been proven to be fair and that new information can be taken into consideration even if it arises at the last minute,” said the 29-year-old Kreuziger.
“I remain confident that the ABP (biological passport) is a useful took in anti-doping and I fully support it. “I will now put this story behind me and totally focus on my racing program,” said Kreuziger, who helped teammate Alberto Contador win the Giro d’Italia last month, himself finishing 28th.
In a bid to clear his name, Kreuziger underwent a lie detector test and tests at the Mayo Clinic in January. The UCI originally wanted Kreuziger banned for between two and four years and all his results since March 2011 erased, along with a 770,000-euro ($856,000) fine.