A Belgian court ruled on Wednesday that it was "without territorial competence" to pass judgement on doping charges against Kazakh rider Andrei Kashechkin.
The former Astana rider had demanded that the court suspend charges of blood doping which have been filed against him by the International Cycling Union (UCI). But the court in Liege decided that it did not have the authority to make a ruling after Kashechkin's lawyers claimed that legal procedures during his positive controls in August were not followed correctly by the UCI. The court also recommended that Kashechkin take his case to a Swiss court which is also where the UCI have their head offices.
"We were confident at the start of this affair because we know the root of our actions. The UCI work within respect to the rules," UCI president Pat McQuaid told AFP.
Kashechkin, a former teammate of disgraced compatriot Alexandre Vinokourov, tested positive for homologous blood doping in August and risks a four-year ban.
"Our client will probably appeal," revealed one of Kashechkin's lawyers Gregory Ernes. "The Liege judge didn't want to take her responsibilities on a dossier that didn't really interest her deep down."
Kashechkin denies he used his own blood and another of his lawyers claimed that "privately-run" sports bodies such as the UCI and the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) have no legitimate right to test athletes.
© AFP 2007