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by Mark Zalewski
April 20, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Valverde takes record fifth Flèche Wallonne with characteristic surge; Anna van der Breggen pulls a hattrick in Flèche Wallonne; Thomas leads 1-2 Sky finish in Tour of the Alps, taking over race lead; Durasek wins snow-shortened stage at Tour of Croatia and takes lead; From hip fracture to Ardennes Classics contention: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio’s fight back from injury; Leif Hoste wins appeal against fine in doping case; Terpstra resumes training; Cycling safety advocate killed in collision with vehicle; Full Cycle returns to Australian TV from tonight; Video: La Flèche Wallonne highlights; Video: Why is it so hot inside a velodrome?; Video: Cycling South America.
Belgian Leif Hoste has won a victory in a biological passport doping case against him with a Belgian court finding a lack of hard evidence from the UCI. Hoste was facing a 150,000 euro fine, which was half the original 300,000 euro fine sought by the UCI in the case. However, Hoste refused to pay it, arguing that he never actually tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Leif Hoste and his lawyer pictured at the KBWB-RLVB head office in Bruxelles on June 14, 2013.
“I can only say that I am extremely happy that finally there is a verdict,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “The case has been going on for years. Initially they demanded 300,000 [euros] but that was reduced to 150,000 euros. The case has gnawed at me since I was innocent. That is confirmed by the court in Ghent.”
“We will now leave the matter and transfer it to the people of the UCI — that could still take up to two months,” said Hoste’s lawyer Kristof Desaedeleer. “[The UCI] can still appeal but we assume that the whole affair has been definitively closed. There was indeed too little evidence to claim my client’s 150,000 euros.”
Instead of appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which Hoste says would have been too costly, he and his lawyers decided to file suit in civil court in Belgium against the fines the UCI was seeking.
Hoste was found guilty of a doping violation in 2013 based on irregularities in his biological passport, but the Belgian court ruled in favor of him saying that since he never actually tested positive for drugs, the evidence was not enough to definitively show that he doped and that fining him was illegal. This has the potential to establish a negative precedent for enforcing the biological passport in the future.
Click through to read more at Het Laatste Nieuws.