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Hoste loses appeal against biological passport ban

Sadhbh O'Shea
December 30, 2013, 17:57,
December 30, 2013, 17:03
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 30, 2013
Belgium's Leif Hoste (Katusha) had a serious crash and was forced to withdraw.

Belgium's Leif Hoste (Katusha) had a serious crash and was forced to withdraw.

  • Belgium's Leif Hoste (Katusha) had a serious crash and was forced to withdraw.
  • Leif Hoste (Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's) on the Eikenberg
  • On the podium of Flanders with teammate Hoste and Tom Boonen in 2005

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Three-time Flanders runner-up has fine reduced

Former rider Leif Hoste has been given a two-year ban for irregularities in his blood passport by the Belgian Cycling Federation (RLVB) according to reports in the Belgian media.

Hoste has denied the use of banned substances since the case was opened in January. His legal team challenged the original ruling saying that this was not indicative of doping and that "errors were made in the controls." However a drawn-out process, the RLVB confirmed the ban.

Along with the two-year ban, Hoste was given a €150,000 fine, reduced from a possible €300,000, according to Het Niewsblad. His ban was given on the basis that three blood samples, one from 2008 and two from 2010, that showed suspicious blood values.

During his 15-year career Hoste took three second places at the Tour of Flanders and won three national time trial championships. The Belgian, who rode for teams such as Mapei and Discovery Channel, announced his retirement due to back problems at the end of 2012. He can still appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Tom Purcell 9 months ago
Samples from 08, and 10. It takes that long to bust these guys? If the UCI can't make a case in 90 days, or even a year, they're doing it wrong. Hoste is retired, so once again, there's a guy the UCI can hold up, and say, "See? We're serious!". The doping controls aren't looking for viruses or bacteria; they don't have to wait weeks for cultures to activate. If there's corruption in and/or around the peloton, the testing process can also be corrupt. The fines and penalties for doping once, or even twice, are ridiculous. Do I advocate doping, or 'sporting fraud'? No. I do advocate fair treatment, and also due process; athletes, dopers or not, should have a system that works for them, not bureaucrats playing whack-a-mole.
bike_boy 9 months ago
Well said!
ceramiccyclist 9 months ago
I think a problem is the legalities. It's always the lawyers that win. The process needs to be streamlined so that it is fair and rapid, but as long as it is governed by profit based legal interests it will drag out. There's jurisdiction problems too. Note that with the Contador case, the UCI sanctioned him, only to be overturned by the Spanish Cycling Federation. They were then forced to appeal to CAS who upheld the original sanction. Meanwhile, Contador is 'winning' races that he will subsequently be stripped of. Ridiculous.
TheBean 9 months ago
The jurisdiction problems are enormous. A possible solution would require international athletes to claim citizenship to a common nation and contractually agree that all litigation regarding their cycling contract occur in that nation. The riders could have dual citizenship, thus keeping their rights in their home country.
veloraptor 9 months ago
Since there was no "Biological Passport" back then I'm sure these were reviews of previous "passed" tests. As has been said numerous times, they were ALL doping back then.
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
You hit the nail on the head velocoraptor. I wonder what would happen if they took a look at Boonen's past passed tests. When he rode for Postal for instance. Of course that won't happen, and nor should it -- Tom's a great champion and so is Hoste. Unfortunately Hoste must have pissed someone off, and that's why all of this is happening. I mean Europe's legal system is as wack as it could get but it ain't that wack. If there was such overwhelming evidence against him he would have been sanctioned years ago, even in Belgium. Some people definitely had it in for him.
bianchi1885 9 months ago
To the CN editor: was it really necessary to use the most unflattering photograph of Mr. Hoste for this article?
John Newton 9 months ago
I thought the same thing when I saw the photo and headline. What a photo to chose.
bertfivesix 9 months ago
"Hey, if RLVB is going to kick him while he's down, why can't we?" :D