Hair analysis “proves Bart Wellens was not doping” before Belgian championships
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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hair analysis “proves Bart Wellens was not doping” before Belgian championships

by Ben Atkins at 4:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Cyclocross
 
Hospitalisation was not due to banned substances, Gazet van Antwerpen reports; wider investigation continues, however

bart wellensAnalysis of hair samples taken from Belgian cyclocross rider Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) has proved that his hospitalisation on the eve of the national championships was not due to doping, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen (GvA). The 33-year-old had to be transferred to the University Hospital of Antwerp as a fever that he was suffering from suddenly worsened, putting his life in danger.

Almost inevitably, there were rumours that his condition had been caused by doping, which this analysis appears to refute.

Following Wellens’ release from hospital, the court of Turnhout, in the Antwerp province, took hair samples from the rider for analysis on February 2nd.

“I am confident,” said Wellens at the time. “This is the only way I can prove my innocence; I want to silence my critics.”

Analysis of these samples has shown no signs of any banned substances; similar analysis was reportedly done on samples from Wellens’ brother Geert, as well as Kevin Cant - the elder brother of Belgian women’s champion Sanne - which were also negative. However such analysis is unlikely to disprove practices such as blood transfusions.

“This is proof that I have done nothing and that I have always been honest,” Wellens insisted.
"But still I am waiting on the official confirmation from the court. But now let them get this done as soon as possible and completely clear my name.

“Then this chapter will be closed as far as I am concerned.”

The case is not entirely closed however, according to Sporza, as it is part of a wider investigation; the riders will have to wait until that particular case is closed before they can be completely declared innocent.

"The Wellens investigation is part of a larger inquiry into Luc Van den Broeck, the man behind dietary CONCAP,” Turnhout prosecutor Inge Delissen told the Belgian TV station. “Until that investigation is over, we do not communicate about this matter."

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