Czechs clear Kreuziger of doping charges

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PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Olympic Committee ruled Monday that cyclist Roman Kreuziger did not violate doping rules.

Kreuziger was provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union, but the committee's arbitration board said anomalies in his biological passport did not break any limits and the rider explained them during a hearing on Sept. 11.

"Roman Kreuziger did not violate the International Cycling Union's anti-doping regulations," the committee said in a statement.

The board is the highest Czech authority on doping cases.

"Starting today, I can do my job again," Kreuziger said. "I'm not a cheat."

The ruling still can be appealed by the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency at the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The UCI said in a statement it has been informed about the Czech ruling and that "it will consider the possibility of appealing." It has one month to do so.

Kreuziger's team, Tinkoff-Saxo, said it was "very happy" about the decision and that the rider is now eligible to resume training.

"It is now of great importance that UCI make its next decisions and take any eventual actions on this matter swiftly," said Stefano Feltrin, Tinkoff-Saxo's chief executive.

The UCI believes long-term analysis of Kreuziger's blood values shows he was doping in 2012 and provisionally suspended him while he is under investigation. Kreuziger denies wrongdoing and has never tested positive for a banned substance or doping method, such as a blood transfusion.

He and his lawyer, Jan Stovicek, said Monday that a long-term problem with a thyroid gland could contribute to the anomalies.

Kreuziger was dropped from the Tour de France squad in June because of the ongoing case. The UCI intervened when he was selected by the team to race at the Tour of Poland in August because no formal disciplinary action had been taken, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport later dismissed Kreuziger's request to lift the UCI's provisional ban to allow him to compete at the Spanish Vuelta.

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