World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has appealed the decision of the Russian cycling federation, the FVSR, not to ban Katusha rider Alexander Kolobnev following his positive test for hydrochlorothiazide during this year’s Tour de France.
Instead, the FVSR fined the 30-year-old rider, who has always maintained that he ingested the substance innocently, 1,500 Swiss Francs, equivalent to a little over £1,000. He also received a warning as to his future conduct.
Kolobnev withdrew voluntarily from July’s race after it was revealed he a sample taken on the day of Stage 5 from Carhaix to Cap Frehel had returned a positive result. Subsequently, his B sample also tested positive. Kolobnev was the only rider to fail a doping control during this year's race.
Confirmation that the case had been appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was made yesterday by UCI President Pat McQuaid, reports Eurosport. The UCI is likelt to ask CAS to suspend the rider for two years.
Since winning the Montepaschi Eroica (now the Strade Bianche) and one stage of Paris-Nice in 2007, Kolobnev’s career has been marked by near missed in a string of big races.
In 2007 and again in 2009, the Russian finished runner-up in the world championship road race. In between, he finished fourth in the Olympic road race in Beijing in 2008, but was subsequently promoted to bronze medal position after silver medallist Davide Rebellin failed a drugs test.
He also finished second in the Clasica de San Sebastian in 2008 and in the 2010 edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, as well as third in the Giro di Lombardia in 2009.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.