At the end of the first day of meetings in Maastricht, in the Netherlands, the Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI) wishes to reaffirm its position regarding recent developments in the Alberto Contador case, and to give its response to the Spanish riderâs announced intention to take part in the forthcoming Tour de France.
As it has already done on several occasions, the UCI recognises the legitimacy of the request made by Mr Contadorâs defence team, and has accepted that request in the interests of guaranteeing the rider a fair trial. However, the UCI also perfectly understands why the timetable set by the Court of Arbitration for Sport has caused some disappointment, even incomprehension, among many observers within the cycling community as well as the general public.
The Management Committee is aware that, objectively, the duration of the proceedings, which might be considered excessively long, is the logical result of the need for justice to be administered properly.
Although it is undeniably regrettable that Alberto Contadorâs participation in the Tour de France should be in circumstances of such uncertainty, it is nevertheless vital that we make an effort to understand if we are to deal rationally with the situation.Â Â Â Â Â
Two weeks before the start of the biggest event of the season, the UCI Management Committee wishes to confirm its full confidence in the CAS, and asks all those involved in cycling, as well as media representatives and fans, to show the utmost sense of responsibility in the coming days and weeks.
âI agree that it will cast a question mark on the validity of the result until the verdict is rendered... but there is a presumption of innocence.â The IOC President, Mr Jacques Rogge, entered the debate yesterday with this extremely clear declaration. The UCI Management Committee today echoes this analysis, and wishes to restate its position on the matter.
As a consequence of his acquittal by the Disciplinary Commission of the Spanish Cycling Federation, Alberto Contador has the statutory right to take part in any competition insofar as he has not been found guilty by the CAS.
The UCI Management Committee asks that every sportsman and woman set aside their personal opinions, however valid they may be, and accept this framework, which is the result of a long and rigorous procedure.
The UCI, which has always persevered in seeking out the truth, is ready to accept its responsibilities and is also keen to see the swiftest possible conclusion to the matter.
Until that time, the UCI Management Committee asks that we respect Alberto Contadorâs right to be treated like every other rider who takes the start of the Tour de France.
The prestige of the event warrants it, and the dignity of all athletes demands it.
UCI Management Committee