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Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
Quick Step rider wins last-minute legal appeal
Belgium’s Iljo Keisse has won a last minute legal battle to be allowed to ride the Rotterdam Six Day. He will line-up with partner Kenny De Ketele on the track tonight.
Keisse was banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last July in relation to a 2008 positive doping control for cathine and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) during the 2008 Ghent Six. He was cleared by the Belgian federation in 2009, but the UCI and WADA appealed that decision to CAS and won in 2010. Keisse then won an appeal in a Brussels court last November and was allowed to ride this year’s Ghent Six Day.
The UCI argued that the appeals court decision only applied inside Belgium, and stopped Keisse from taking part in the Revolution track event in Manchester and warned the Rotterdam Six organisers about allowing him to ride. Keisse initially seemed to throw in the towel but then made a last ditched appeal in a court in Rotterdam today and won.
"I ride tonight in Rotterdam," Keisse told the Belga news agency as he travelled to Rotterdam. "I'm glad this is over. Now I can let the pedals do the talking."
"The UCI will now have a taste of their own medicine. At the last moment, I have managed to force my participation. It was often the other way.
"This is thanks to my lawyers. At around 15.30 I received the good news that I'm allowed to start in the Six Days of Rotterdam. Everything was ready; I quickly jumped in the car and drove to the Netherlands."
Despite the last-minute court reprieve, the UCI continues to maintain that Keisse is not allowed to participate in the Rotterdam Six Day. "If the rider would take the start after all, the UCI Commissaires will completely ignore him and his team (their names won't appear on the starting list and results of the race)," said the UCI in a statement this afternoon.