CAS cleared Alexandr Kolobnev from the Tour de France 2011 doping case
Alexandr Kolobnev was accused of doping during the Tour de France 2011. Court of Arbitration for Sport released the cyclist from all the charges on February 29, 2012.
He was tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide during the fifth stage of the most recent edition of the French race and marked the first doping case of the Tour de France 2011.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a banned substance on the WADA’s list and can be used as a masking agent.
In his defence, Kolobnev cited that the substance entered his system through the medication he took for the vascular disease that he is suffering from, since the past 15 years.
The cyclist was fined for an amount of 1500 Swiss francs but was not banned by the Russian Cycling Federation.
International Cycling Union appealed against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and suggested a minimum of a two-year ban and a fine of 350,000 Euros.
CAS looked deeply into the matter and came to the conclusion that the medicine is easily available in Russia and was actually recommended by Kolobnev’s doctor.
The CAS report reads, "The CAS panel was satisfied that the use of the product was justified for medical reasons totally unrelated to sport performance: the product, recommended by Kolobnev's doctor in 2009".
“[The medicine] had been actually indicated to supplement the treatment of the vascular disease affecting the athlete and not to help and athlete recovers from physical effort or better prepare for a sporting performance," it concludes.
The 30-year-old started riding professionally with Team Acqua e Sapone-Cantina Tollo in 2002 and accepted an offer with Team Damina Vacanze in 2003.
He spent a period of two years with the team before accepting an offer from the Dutch side, Team Rabobank, for 2005 and 2006 seasons.
Alexandr spent two seasons with Team CSC (2007-2009) and penned a deal with Team Katusha for the 2010 and 2011 season.
He had a disappointing last season and his only two achievements comprise the second place finish at the GP Miguel Indurain and the 5th overall spot at the Amstel Gold Race 2011.
The Russian will now look ahead for a new home to continue his professional pursuit and is optimistic to start the new season on a high note.