Saturday 31 March 2012

UCI was unfair to ban Keisse

A Belgian judge has ruled that the UCI acted unfairly in banning Iljo Keisse from competition following a positive dope test in 2008 at the Six Days of Ghent, says Dutch newspaper De Standaard. The rider's A and B samples both tested positive for cathine, a stimulant psychoactive drug, and a diuretic commonly used in an attempt to flush out traces of performance-enhancing drugs and he was sacked by the Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

The UCI must pay Keisse 100,000 euros
(public domain image)
However, investigators found reasonable evidence to suggest that Keisse had not intentionally doped and that the positive test had been caused by a contaminated food supplement, which led to his reinstatement on the 2nd of November 2009. This decision was then appealed by the UCI at the Court for Arbitration in Sport, which upheld the ban on the 7th of July 2010 but shortened it by the eleven months during which he had been unable to compete. The CAS decision was then overturned by the Belgian Court of Appeal, which left him free to compete despite the ban remaining in place in Belgium until January this year.

The 29-year-old will now have several results reinstated and the UCI has been ordered to pay him 100,000 euros, a result that will be of obvious interest to Alberto Contador's lawyers. In his case, the CAS also ruled that he was unlikely to have intentionally doped and that his positive test was probably caused by a contaminated supplement, but banned him for two years - there has of yet been no indication that an appeal is being planned, but the Keisse decision will certainly provide encouragement.

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