A court in Liège, Belgium began hearing the case between Kazakh rider Andrey Kashechkin and the UCI yesterday. Kashechkin was suspended after returning a non-negative anti-doping sample in an out of competition test taken in Turkey while the rider was on holidays on August 1. Kashechkin, whose sample allegedly showed evidence of blood doping, has taken the UCI to court as he believes that a private sports body is in breach of human rights by subjecting athletes to out of competition testing. A decision on the case is expected with in two weeks.
Luc Misson, Kashechkin's lawyer, argued that the way that the UCI handles the testing procedures does not protect the rider's human rights and that the UCI determines the punishment for the offences using not yet proven methods of detection. He also demanded that the punishment be lifted as it is preventing Kashechkin to carry out his occupation.
Only five laboratories worldwide are capable of tracing blood in an equivalent manner, and are obliged to offer their expertise to federations and are not allowed to ask for help from any third parties. Furthermore Misson disputed the validity of the testing of the B sample, which was processed outside of the allowable range some 22 days after the A sample.
According to the defence, the control that was carried out in Turkey was an illegal control in that the blood was taken after 10pm at night, which is outside the permitted times of 6am until 10pm. The test was reportedly taken at 10.45pm local time in Turkey, as the doctors apparently forgot to take into account the one hour time difference between Turkey and the rest of Europe.
Misson also believes that the UCI is in breach of a number of human rights as stated in the convention. He believes that when a rider takes out a licence with the UCI he must distance himself with his own rights and abide by the rules that the UCI outlines and the eventual sanctions that come with that. Kashechkin had to accept these conditions in order to practice his chosen profession, and thus was not given a choice.
According to Misson, it should not be obligatory to hold a licence in order to work and each person is entitled to an independent and impartial jurisdiction when being punished. "The UCI through its regulations and procedures is laying down a privatisation of the punishment measures to take away the rights and lively hood of a rider suspected of doping. They want to tear a suspected doper to pieces," Misson explained.
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