Keisse wins 100k euro settlement against UCI

A Belgian Court of Appeals decided today that the UCI must pay Belgian cyclist Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) a fine of €100,000 for wrongfully banning him from competition.

The court made this same decision in March, 2012, but the UCI appealed.

The ruling is but one more in a long series of court cases that dates back to the positive doping test that Keisse returned at the Six Days of Gent in November 2008.

He was initially given a two-year ban by the Belgian federation, but then that same federation lifted the ban at the end of 2009 after Keisse argued the tests, which showed him positive for two different substances, were the result of a cold medicine and contaminated supplement. They chose not to take any disciplinary action.

The UCI appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which suspended Keisse for two years 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 Belgian court suspended his ban on November 10, 2010.

Keisse continued to race following the decision, competing in the Gent Six Day in November, 2010. The UCI then 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.

The Brussels Court of Appeals decided in May, 2011 that Keisse must serve out the remainder of his CAS-imposed ban, but the rider then sued the UCI for €100,000 on grounds they did not have the right to keep him from racing in that interim period.

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