Governing body denies its staff had anything to do with reports of WADA witness exclusion

World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has roundly condemned this week’s leak of information regarding events said to have taking place at the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in November in the Alberto Contador case, and said none of its staff was responsible.

In a report published by media worldwide on Wednesday, news agency AP said anonymous sources present at the hearing had said that lawyers for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) nearly walked out of the hearing after the CAS panel refused to let Australian doping expert Michael Ashenden testify for WADA regarding an alleged illegal blood transfusion on Contador’s part.

WADA, together with the UCI is appealing the decision of the Spanish national cycling federation, the RFEC, to acquit Contador in February on charges relating to his positive test for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, which he won.

CAS has previously said that its decision should be given between 15 and 20 January – some time between Sunday and next Friday.

In a statement released this morning, the governing body distanced itself from the leak, saying: “The International Cycling Union (UCI) condemns the publication this week of information concerning the Alberto Contador hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“The UCI formally declares that none of its representatives have been involved in any way in this action which it deems incompatible with the good order of court proceedings.      

"The UCI confirms that it will continue to respect due confidentiality and the legal rights of all parties. Further the UCI reiterates its confidence in the integrity and independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and all the members of the panel.

“The case of Alberto Contador is now in the hands of the CAS Panel. The UCI calls upon the sporting community to await the result of the deliberations of the panel with serenity and due respect for the judicial process,” it concluded.

The AP report said that the persons providing information regarding the alleged events at the hearing had done so on condition of anonymity because they did not want to prejudice the panel’s decision.

While we reported on the news here at road.cc, we can certainly guarantee it wasn’t us either – the press was excluded from the behind-closed-doors hearing, which is one reason the rumour mill has gone into overdrive in the first place.

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.