As it was announced yesterday, a Belgian Court of Appeals upheld their own verdict from March 2012 and thus decided that the UCI is obligated to pay Iljo Keisse of Omega Pharma-Quick Step a fine of €100,000 for wrongfully banning him from competition.
The prolonged case started with Keisse having tested positive for two different substances at the Six Days of Gent in November 2008. The Belgian road and track cyclist was initially handed a two-year ban by the national federation, but the same authorities lifted the suspension after it had been proved that the positive result of tests was caused by a cold medicine and contaminated supplement.
However, the UCI took further action and appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which decided to upheld the first decision of the Belgian federation and handed the rider a two-year suspension in July 2010.
Following this verdict Keisse appealed again, this time to court in Brussels, arguing that he was unrightfully suspended and denied his right to work by the authorities not having such jurisdiction and as a result his ban has been suspended once again, in November 2010.
However, following this decision the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was informed by the UCI that the latest verdict might have referred to cycling events held in Belgium and thus he was excluded from participating in several track events organized outside his country in the winter.
When Brussels Court of Appeals decided in May 2012 that Keisse must serve the reminder of his ban imposed by CAS, the rider sued the UCI for €100,000 on grounds they did not have the right to keep him from racing in that interim period and yesterday’s verdict appears to finally close the prolonged Keisse’s case.
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