No Movistar. Biological passport saved.
Italy’s Franco Pellizotti has been suspended for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after it upheld an appeal by the UCI. Patrick McQuaid is dancing naked with glee and sucking down several bottles of champagne.
The former King of the Mountains in the Tour de France had been confident of his case. In fact, his lawyer Rocco Taminelli was already talking about a damage award for his client. Not even Pellizotti’s short, brown conservative hairstyle swayed the judges in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The verdict is also a nasty slap in the face for the Italian Olympic Committee which had cleared Pellizotti despite UCI claims that Master P was highly suspect and worth suspending.
Pellizotti had asked for a fast track verdict so he could ride Tirreno-Adriatico this week. The court ruled in just five days and the ruling was, don’t bother putting on your new Movistar kit this year or next.
CAS also decided to re-write Pellizotti’s resume for him. They cancelled all his results from May 17, 2009. He loses his second place at the Giro d’Italia, his stage victory at the Tour de France and his polka-dot climber’s jersey. Just for good measure they also fined him 115,000 Euros.
Not surprisingly, the UCI was thrilled with the proceedings. “We’re extremely satisfied especially because the quality of our work and our programme has been recognized by CAS,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews. “In this case the final decision was in favor of the UCI and the future of the anti-doping fight.”
Somewhere in Spain, Alberto Contador is now concerned his CAS-bound case isn’t quite as strong as it was pre-Pellizotti.