The Court of Arbitration for Sport has set a date of 7 February 2012 to hear the UCI’s appeal against the decision of the Russian cycling federation, the FVSR, not to ban former Katusha rider Alexander Kolobnev as a result of his positive test for hydrochlorothiazide during last July’s Tour de France.
The 30-year-old was the only rider to fail a doping control during the race, testing positive from a sample taken on the day of Stage 5 from Carhaix to Cap Frehel.
While the diuretic is not itself a performance-enhancing substance, it can be used as a masking agent and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.
Kolobnev maintains that it was present in his body innocently, but the FVSR fined him 1,500 Swiss Francs, equivalent to a little over £1,000, and gave him a warning as to his future conduct.
However, it stopped short of banning the rider who has twice finished runner-up in the world championship road race, and it is likely that the UCI will press for CAS to impose a two-year ban on Kolobnev.
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.