UCI doesn't want Keisse at Gent Six Days

Iljo Keisse has been at the centre of controversy all winter.

Iljo Keisse has been at the centre of controversy all winter. (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)

Iljo Keisse is banned from riding in Belgium through January, and that ban also extends to his attendance at cycling events.  The UCI has told him not to attend the Gent Six Days race, according to the Belgian media.

Keisse tested positive for Cathin and the masking agent Hydrocholothiazid at the Gent race in 2010. After seemingly endless legal wranglings, he was banned separately worldwide and in Belgium.  The worldwide ban ended August 6, but the Belgian ban runs through January 27, 2012.

“The UCI doesn't want me in the neutral zone,” he told Radio 1.  “I can't greet my fellow riders at the center area. Otherwise I would risk an extra suspension.  And I will definitely not take any risks.” 

He added, “The UCI is just showing its muscles and showing me who is boss.  It's ridiculous, but I won't lose any sleep over it.”

Tom Van Damme, head of the Belgian Cycling Federation, agreed.  “I don't understand that the UCI has nothing better to do,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.

“That the UCI wanted to get things right on the positive tests, I can understand.  But this is nitpicking.”

He called the situation “pathetic” but noted that “protesting won't help.”

Keisse, 28, has been successfully riding on the track since his worldwide ban ended, winning Six Day races in Grenoble and Amsterdam.  He also won the European Madison title with partner Kenny De Ketele. 

He had ridden on the road for Quick Step in 2010 and 2011, but his legal problems gave him limited riding time.  His contract was not renewed for next year.

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