Keisse to serve out remainder of doping ban

Gent's Iljo Keisse.

Gent's Iljo Keisse. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Brussels Court of Appeal today dismissed the argument of Iljo Keisse, who challenged his two-year ban which was imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

The Belgian who rides with the Quick Step team must now serve out the balance of his suspension from competition. His ban will end on two dates: August 6 outside Belgium, and January 27, 2012 in his own country.

Keisse tested positive for two substances in November, 2008 but successfully argued that he was not responsible for the drugs, Cathine and HCT, being in his system.

The Belgian cycling federation did not take disciplinary action against him, but the UCI and World Anti-doping Agency appealed to CAS and won in July, 2010. The effective date of his suspension took into account 11 months already spent out of competition awaiting the verdict of the Belgian federation, and his ban was to end August 6, 2011.

Keisse then argued to the appeals court in Brussels that the CAS did not have the jurisdiction to deny him his right to work. The court suspended his ban on November 10, 2010.

In the interim, the UCI informed Keisse that the court's deliberations only allowed him to continue racing in his own country, keeping him out of competition in several overseas track events in the winter. Keisse has raced on the road with Quick Step only in Belgium this year.

The court today refused to debate whether or not the CAS had jurisdiction in the matter because the end of Keisse's suspension was coming so soon, leaving no victory for Keisse.

The UCI announced today that because his ban was interrupted, it would extend the date of his suspension in Belgium until January 27, 2012.

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