Sentjens handed two year ban following positive test for EPO
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Sentjens handed two year ban following positive test for EPO

by Shane Stokes at 7:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Team Milram rider has already retired from the sport

Roy SentjensOver four months after providing a random doping control which would prove positive for EPO, the Belgian rider Roy Sentjens has been handed a two year suspension. Dutch magazine Wieler Revue reports that the national cycling federation KBWB has given the 30 year old a lengthy ban plus a fine of €10,000.

Sentjens initially denied taking EPO, but almost immediate reversed that stance and admitted to having used the drug in order to try to find a new contract for 2011. He had signed a one year deal with Team Milram at the end of 2009 and with the team set to fold due to lack of a new sponsor, he explained that he felt under a lot of pressure.

“My season was already a disaster,” he said at the time. “I did everything I could but I didn’t meet up to my own expectations. I couldn’t sleep anymore, thinking all the time how in the hell I could still improve, I did everything. But even that did not help and I fell into a depression.”

Having taken ninth on the first stage of the Österreich-Rundfahrt, he felt he had to do something to step up his results.

“I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he said in a statement on his personal website. “I've succumbed to the pressures and expectations that I, and everyone, still had. I wanted a contract; I had a new house, a son, a car and wanted to a start new life. Then I went wrong.

“I rushed to my car and drove to Barcelona,” he explained. “I parked in the centre, where there were several pharmacists where I might find EPO, and at the second one I had my prize. When I was driving home, I will not tell you everything that went through my head.”

He had a doping control on August 16th and said that he knew right away that he would be caught. Sentjens last raced on September 8th, pulling out of the Vuelta a España when he received confirmation of his positive test, and said that it was his last-ever event.

“I hereby therefore definitively put an end to my career as a professional cyclist!” he vowed. “I will not ask for the B-sample analysis because I know what the outcome of this is. I know a lot of people will be affected and I want to apologize to anyone who believed in me,” he added. “I've done wrong and will suffer the consequences of it.”

As a result, the two year ban handed over by the KBWB will be of little impact to him. The €10,000 fine will be a tougher penalty.

Over the course of a nine year career, Sentjens raced with the Rabobank, Predictor-Lotto and Milram teams. His biggest result was victory in the 2003 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. He also won the under 23 Tour of Flanders in 2001, and was third in the 2009 GP de Wallonie.


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