Tom Meeusen only a witness in anti-doping investigation into Belgian doctor
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Friday, January 04, 2013

Tom Meeusen only a witness in anti-doping investigation into Belgian doctor

by Ben Atkins at 1:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Cyclocross
 
Rider himself under no suspicion, say rider and Telenet-Fidea team

Tom MeeusenTom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) is not under investigation himself, but is only being called as a witness in a Belgian anti-doping case, his team has announced. The 24-year-old has been withdrawn from Belgium’s nine-man roster for Sunday’s cyclocross World Cup race in Rome, Italy, because of the investigation, but it is not the rider himself that is under suspicion.

The investigation is into a doctor from Leuven, east of Brussels, who Meeusen once consulted; since he is being interviewed by investigators, however, under the rules of the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB) the rider may not start the race.

Meeusen himself is very disappointed to have to miss the race, but is more concerned with emphasising that he is not actually under suspicion himself.

“Just as I feel fully recovered from all the problems that plagued me the last few months, this happens,” he said in a statement released by his team. “I find it doubly terrible because I am totally aware of no harm. Really. I did nothing wrong, I'm not a cheater. Absolutely not. The only thing I know is that before the ‘cross in Diegem [on December 30th - ed] I was stopped by the police and my camper was searched. Of course nothing was found.

“I'm terribly sorry that I can not start in Rome,” he added. “My father was already there. He made the trip far for nothing, "

Telenet-Fidea manager Hans Van Kasteren is behind his rider one hundred percent, as he faces what the team hopes will be a short, enforced layoff.

"I'm not a judge and not a lawyer,” he said. “I just know that I am behind Tom in all this until proven guilty. Tom is just interviewed in this case, nothing has charged.

“I find it strange that just now the Belgian championships is coming such story rears its head,” he added. “Last year that also happened; now again… The sad thing is that when the name of Bart [Wellens] was wrongly dragged through the mud. We ask that that does not happen again with Tom.

“Meanwhile, we are doing everything to get full clarity as soon as possible, because in the distance after the World championships in America is coming,” he concluded.

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