Hoste demands acquittal in bio passport case

The long, drawn-out bio passport case of Leif Hoste is nearing its end point as the former rider appeared before the disciplinary commission of the Belgian federation this week, where he faces a nearly 300,000 euro fine in addition to the sporting suspension made somewhat moot by his retirement from the sport.

Hoste was not renewed by Accent.Jobs-Wanty for 2013, and soon after announcing his retirement, he was placed under investigation by the UCI for irregular blood values.

However, his attorneys Johnny Maeschalck and Kristof De Saedeleer insist that the analysis of his blood parameters was flawed.

"Errors were made with the controls," Maeschalck said, according the "Thus they, like his blood passport, are invalid. This passport should not be used as direct evidence."

Hoste's career peaked in the mid-2000s with a pair of second placed finishes in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and the latter part of his career was hampered by back injuries. He bounced from Omega Pharma-Lotto to Katusha and then to Accent Jobs before finally retiring in December of 2012.

The 36-year-old called the accusations "absurd", and said the UCI hadn't followed its own rules. "They can't just start accusing someone at random. Nothing else is possible except for my acquittal."

A decision is expected in the case by the end of the year.

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