Czech professional cyclist Roman Kreuziger has denied doping after being stood down by his Tinkoff-Saxo team over irregularities in his biological passport values.
Kreuziger maintains there are innocent explanations for what the UCI claims are abnormalities identified in his biological passport in 2011 and 2012.
Nevertheless, Kreuziger will not be racing again until the issue is resolved, although the team has not formally suspended him.
In a statement, Tinkoff-Saxo said: “The team has decided, in agreement with Roman, that he will not ride in any races including this year’s Tour de France until more information becomes available to the team.
“Though he won’t be racing for now, until more information becomes available to the team it will not provisionally suspend Roman unless required by the UCI or the Czech Federation.”
The case will raise questions over the speed with which the UCI acts in biological passport cases. The passport system tracks the levels of cells and other substances in a rider’s blood and urine over time to detect unusual values that can indicate doping.
Kreuziger claims he was notified on June 28, 2013 that the UCI had detected abnormalities in his biological passport values.
He said in a statement: “I immediately had the data in my biological passport checked by two accredited experts, who in September and October last year unanimously concluded that the values were due to causes that were not due to the use of doping substances or methods.”
Statements from those experts were passed to the UCI by October 3, 2013, the team said.
On May 30, Kreuziger was advised that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) Experts Panel did not accept his explanation.
He sought the opinion of a third expert who, he said, confirmed that “the data in my biological passport are absolutely normal and give no grounds for suspecting the use of doping substances or methods.”
Nevertheless, Kreuziger finds himself out of the Tour de France where he was expected to be a key support rider for team leader Alberto Contador.
“I intend to defend myself in the appropriate quarters, even by the more expedite legal proceeding, in order to establish in the fastest possible way the truth in this matter,” he said.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.