By Antonio J. Salmerón
The ex-Astana rider Andrey Kashechkin was 'hunted' for a blood transfusion in a surprise control that took place in August 1, when he was on holidays in Turkey accompanied by his family, the Kazakh's lawyer Luc Misson claimed in an interview with AS. "We have asked for a halt to the disciplinary procedure by two very clear points. One, because the [unannounced] controls by the national federations do not guarantee compliance with Article 6 of Human Rights: the right to legal defence.
"Also, the control took place during a family holiday, which is an interference in private life that can only be authorized by a public authority, not a private company," Misson named the case of an officer in the Court of Justice in Luxembourg who was subjected to an internal control, which came back HIV-positive. In 1994, the officer's case was ruled a violation of privacy.
Misson, who is defending the Kazakh rider who has complained that the current anti-doping system is illegal because it violated Human Rights, took the case in order to prove a point. He sees the doping controls as intrusive, and is undeterred by potential consequences should Kashechkin win his case. "The fight against doping has to be a mission of the Police and Justice system, rather than the Federations, or racing cyclists."
"I am calling for Human Rights, for the freedom of the individual to be respected. All doping must be fought by the State. There are 18 countries that have laws against doping. It is a business that moves about 8,000 million euros," Misson stated. "States should know these industries, see where the doping products are manufactured. It is the fight against crime and smugglers rather than condemning the weak," he added.
Misson acknowledged that he faces an uphill battle, expressing pessimism that they would win the upcoming case in Liege. "Perhaps the case is lost in Belgium, but then we go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (France). There everything can change and create a precedent: the power to remove the federations to preserve the privacy of athletes. Everything has a defence. The athlete must be protected."