Decision on Katusha doping cases due within hours, says Cookson

UCI president Brian Cookson says the UCI disciplinary commission will release their decision on Katusha's doping cases on Tuesday

Eduard Volganov (Katusha) tested positive for meldonium early in 2016 (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, says it will issue its ruling on Katusha today, with the Russian team taking a minimum 15-day ban for its recent doping cases.

Italian Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine at the 2015 Tour de France and last week the UCI announced that Russian Eduard Vorganov tested positive for meldonium, an anti-ischemic drug used to treat patients with chronic heart failure.

It was the second such positive test within 12 months. New rules state the team could be blocked from racing for 15 to 45 days.

”Will we send a signal? The Disciplinary Commission will look at the legalities of the case and the proportionality, but we must wait to see what comes out of that," said UCI President Brian Cookson today at the Tour of Qatar. "I expect something in the next few hours."

The team in red has a colourful past. It nearly lost its racing license for the 2013 season due to doping cases and other problems.

"I won't get involved in that process. What section the team gets is not a matter for me," added Cookson. "We put the process in place [for 2015], now we to wait the outcome like everybody else.

"The rules are clear. It is a minimum of 15 calendar days if the commission feels the rule has been broken. They will make an assessment, but there is a provision within the rules for a subjective assessment."

Several cyclists like Norwegian Classics star Alexander Kristoff could face a delay in their season preparations. He began his season this week at the Tour of Qatar, where Cookson visited today.

"The rules are what the rules are. I understand the riders are worried about it, it interrupts in their season plans."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.