Belgian could be suspended inside his own country longer
The UCI confirmed today that it will hold to the original terms of Belgian Iljo Keisse's ban for doping, which is set to expire on August 6 of this year.
The news came as a Brussels appeals court continues to discuss the strange case of the 28-year-old Six Day star, whose doping case dates back to November, 2008.
Keisse tested positive for two substances at his home Six Day in Gent, Belgium: the stimulant cathine, which he blamed on cold medicine, and a banned masking agent hydrochlorothiazide (HCT), which he attributed to a contaminated supplement.
The Belgian cycling federation accepted Keisse's defense and refused to take disciplinary action, which allowed Keisse to resume racing after 11 months away from competition, just in time for the 2009 Gent Six Day.
The UCI and World Anti-doping Agency appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which in July, 2010, decided to ban Keisse for two-years, and, taking into account the 11 months he had already served, set his return date for August 6, 2011.
Keisse fought the ban in the Belgian legal system, going so far as to question the authority of the CAS to prevent him from performing his contractual duties to work.
The Belgian courts decided to debate the issue, ruling that Keisse would be allowed to continue racing until it had made its final decision this spring.
Following the court's decision, Keisse participated in the Six Days in Zürich and Rotterdam until the UCI declared that the ruling applied only to races inside Belgium.
He has continued to race this season on the road with the Quick Step team, taking part in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and De Panne, Nokere Koerse and Scheldeprijs on his home soil.
The Belga press agency reported today that Keisse's participation in those races could mean his suspension inside his own country could last longer than August 6, should he lose his arguments in the Brussels appeals court.
"We are awaiting a final ruling of the Court of Appeal, " said attorney Tom De Sutter according to Belga. "That would be on May 24. If the court rejects Keisse's claim, he would be suspended for approximately another six months [inside Belgium]."
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