Belgian Iljo Keisse will not be allowed to participate in the Rotterdam Six Day following a request from the UCI to exclude him, Het Nieuwsblad reported today.
Organizers yesterday asked the UCI for clarification on the request, which stems from a two-year suspension for a 2008 doping incident given to Keisse by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last July, but temporarily overturned by a Belgian appeals court last fall. The UCI is standing firm in its assertion that the appeals court decision only allows Keisse to race inside Belgium until the court renders its final decision in April.
Patrick Sercu is now charged with finding a last-minute replacement to race with Keisse's scheduled partner, Kenny De Ketele.
"It's a disaster for Kenny de Ketele. I don't know who I will pair him with on Thursday. Remember that all of the available riders are already on the participants list. I cannot make a rider appear out of nowhere by magic - certainly not someone of the caliber of Iljo Keisse. I am looking for a substitute," Sercu told Sportwereld.be.
Sercu, who also coordinates the teams for the Bremen Six Day, doubts that Keisse will be able to fulfill his contract for that race since the final decision by the Brussels court is not due until April, well after the Six Day season has ended.