NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Something to watch out for
Kazakh cyclist Andrey Kashechkin has nothing to do with motor racing but a legal action he is taking against the Swiss-based Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) could have repercussions for other sporting authorities. The UCI is contesting the case, arguing that a Belgian court has no competence to rule in the case of a Monaco-based Kazakh. Kashechkin is questioning the legality of dope testing by sports bodies following his positive test in August. He is facing a four-year ban from the sport. Kashechkin denies he used his own blood to enhance his performance, and claims that legal procedures during his control were not followed correctly by officials. He has hired lawyer Luc Misson, who co-defended Jean-Marc Bosman when the former Belgian footballer successfully sued his club at the European Court of Justice in 1995 over "restraint of trade", and hopes that the decision will change the face of sport. Misson argues that "privately-run" sports bodies such as the UCI and the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) have no legitimate right to test athletes and that the activity contravenes Europe's declaration of Human Rights, and that only public bodies, such as governments, have the right to carry out such procedures. If Kashechkin is cleared it would be require a serious rethink in the global fight against doping and undermine the powers of all sporting federations.