Iljo Keisse invited to ride Rotterdam Six Days despite UCI position on racing outside Belgium
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Iljo Keisse invited to ride Rotterdam Six Days despite UCI position on racing outside Belgium

by Ben Atkins at 3:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Track
On and off suspension saga continues for Quick Step track rider

iljo keisseThe saga of Iljo Keisse took another twist today when the organisers of the Rotterdam Six Days invited the Quick Stepper to ride in the event this coming January. Keisse was cleared to race by the Belgian Court of Appeal in November but a letter from the International Cycling Union (UCI) to the organisers of Saturday’s Revolution event in Manchester, UK made it clear that cycling’s governing body feels that the decision only applies to events in Belgium.

Confusion reigned over the UCI decision though, as Keisse had recently competed in the Zurich Six Days, in Switzerland, the UCI’s own backyard.

Whether or not the Rotterdam organisers, whose event is of course in the Netherlands, will recieve a similar letter to that received by the Revolution organisers remains to be seen. Until then, the Belgian has an invitation.

“We cannot prejudge,” said Six Days organisator Frank Boelé, “but when we haven’t received a negative message received from the UCI, the organization has Iljo riding in Rotterdam.

“In addition, in the Keisse judgment the Court attached a fine of €100,000 for anyone who refuses to let him start. For the time being, he is therefore quite simply on the participants list.”

Meanwhile, Keisse is considering suing the UCI for that very amount over the Manchester letter. “On Monday I’ll see my colleague Van Steenbrugge and Keisse himself,” the rider’s lawyer Johnny Maeschalck told Het Nieuwsblad on Sunday. “Then the letter that I have already written demanding €100,000 will be straight out of the door.”

UCI President Pat McQuaid denied that the governing body was doing anything wrong. “This is not a personal vendetta against Keisse,” he said to Het Nieuwsblad. “It’s very simple: he is suspended on the basis of a ruling by WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency – Ed]. The ruling of the court of appeal in Brussels, in our view, only applies to Belgian territory. Outside we respect the decision of WADA.”

Should Keisse be allowed to start in Rotterdam he will be partnered by Belgian compatriot Kenny De Ketele.


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