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Belgian court dismisses Kashechkin suit

Andrey Kashechkin (Astana)

Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) (Image credit: Sirotti)

By Susan Westemeyer and Shane Stokes

Andrey Kashechkin has lost the first stage of his fight against the doping control system of which he had run afoul. A Belgian court has refused to hear the case, ruling that it has no jurisdiction in the matter, and that Kashechkin had agreed to undergo such testing when he accepted his license. The Kazahki rider filed the suit against the International Cycling Union (UCI) earlier this month, claiming the test violated his human rights. UCI President Pat McQuaid hailed the court's action.

Kaschechkin tested positive for blood-doping in an unannounced out-of-competition control while he was on vacation with his family in August. He was fired by Team Astana when the B-sample was also positive.

His attorney, Luc Misson, argued that the tests violated his client's privacy, and also that the B-sample was tested too late, some 22 days after the A-sample.

The court ruled that the case should be tried in a court in Switzerland, where the UCI is headquartered. It also ruled that a rider's application for a license was the equivalent of a contract, and in accepting the license, the rider also accepted the UCI's terms and conditions, including anti-doping controls.

"The UCI is pleased with today's result and, likewise, I am sure not only all cyclists but all sportspersons who want clean and fair sport will support this decision," McQuaid told Cyclingnews. He especially noted the license contractual requirements, saying, "It is an integral part of any sports organisation that when one enters, in whatever capacity, they agree to obey the rules of that organisation ­ this applies, in our case to cyclists, teams, federations and organisers alike!"

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