Quick Step's Iljo Keisse has two-year ban reinstated by CAS following WADA appeal
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Quick Step's Iljo Keisse has two-year ban reinstated by CAS following WADA appeal

by VeloNation Press at 12:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Will now be forced to serve the rest of his two-year suspension

Iljo KeisseQuick Step rider Iljo Keisse's status has been changed to inactive with immediate effect following news that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned a decision that cleared the Belgian of a doping suspension late last year based on an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).  He was pulled from the Tour of Austria by his team.

“I have no choice,” explained team manager Patrick Lefevere. “Keisse can appeal against the ruling, but until his fate is clear, I have him on inactive status. In this moment I can't do anything different.”

Keisse produced a positive control that contained both cathine and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) after winning the Six-day of Gent in November of 2008. HCT was of particular concern as it is a diuretic, which, while it is not performance enhancing, it can be used to mask the use of other substances. He requested that the B-Sample be counter-analysed, but it too came back with a positive result, and he was fired by his then Topsport-Vlaanderen team.

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported last December that the Belgian tribunal accepted Keisse’s defence that he did not knowingly dope, along with the testimony of three university professors that maintained that it was “very unlikely” that he took a particular drug.

The experts all agreed that the presence of Cathine was as a result of the degradation of pseudo-ephedrine, found in the legal cold treatment Sinutab that the rider had admitted to taking. They explained the presence of HCT by saying it was likely from a contaminated dietary supplement.

The Belgian spent 2009 riding in the elite category without contract for the Saey-Deschacht cycling team after he was fired by Topsport-Vlaanderen.  Once he was cleared, Lefevere decided to take on the Belgian talent, whose best result with the team so far has been sixth place in stage four of the Volta ao Algarve.  He received sharp criticism by Lefevere earlier this year when he broke his collarbone just before the track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The Belgian team was required to pay his salary while he recovered from the accident on the track, which didn't sit well with the Quick Step boss.

Keisse had already served 11 months of his initial two-year suspension, so the 27 year old will now be eligible to return to competition next August.  His only option to return to racing sooner would be to lodge a successful appeal to CAS.

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