Leukemans ban overturned

Belgian Council of State says procedure flawed

The Belgian Council of State has overturned the two-year ban imposed on Björn Leukemans (formerly Predictor-Lotto) by the disciplinary commission of the Flemish Community. Leukemans tested positive for artificial testosterone last September and was subsequently suspended from racing on April 22 this year.

But the Belgian appealed the ban and now, the Belgian Council of State ruled that the disciplinary commission's procedure was flawed, and ordered a new procedure to take place with different judges.

On Tuesday, the Council of State ruled that Leukemans' ban was no longer in place. "There is no ban, because the punishment bears no relation to the faults committed by the accused person," said magistrate Luc Hellin.

The Leukemans doping case will thus start again from scratch, with the rider theoretically free to race, if he had a team and a licence. "The court's intention is that the matter should be fully treated within one year," added Hellin.

Leukemans said the ruling gave him hope for a comeback. "I'm glad that there is someone following my situation," he told Belgina media outlet Sporza. "I know that there was something in my urine, but the way in which it got there also plays a role. It was certainly not intentional. Hopefully, this is the light at the end of the tunnel. Currently I'm training, because I really want to return to the peloton."

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