ASADA appeals ruling over suspect cyclist

Australian anti-doping authorities have begun an appeal in the Federal Court against tribunal rulings made against them in the case of a professional cyclist who tested positive to cocaine.

The Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel, which acts under the jurisdiction of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, appealed against the findings made by an appeals board last year which raised concerns over its legal obligations in the case of a cyclist who tested positive to a banned substance in October 2010.

The rider, an elite cyclist under Cycling Australia's program who can only be referred to as XZTT, was competing in China when he tested positive to benzoylecgonine, the principal metabolite of cocaine.

However XZTT was not informed by authorities he had tested positive until Match the following year, when he should have been notified within a week.

Despite the delay the panel ruled against the cyclist.

The rider took the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which was critical of the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union, and of ASADA and the ADRVP, for concluding that XZTT had breached anti-doping rules when at that stage it was only a possible breach.

In turn, the panel appealed against the AAT findings in the Federal Court.

John Marshal, representing the panel, acknowledged to the Federal Court on Wednesday that there was a delay in the rider being informed of his positive test but said the timing should not be a factor if the cyclist broke the rules.

The matter is continuing.

The story ASADA appeals ruling over suspect cyclist first appeared on The Age.

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