BMC Racing Team plays down links with soigneur implicated in EPO case
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

BMC Racing Team plays down links with soigneur implicated in EPO case

by VeloNation Press at 7:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Team reactions contradicted by race rosters

BMC racing TeamThe BMC Racing Team is moving to distance itself from a part time soigneur referred to as Sven S. from Zonnebeke, following his arrest this week for possession of EPO. The case dates back to October 2009 when a package was seized at Bierset airport containing nearly 200 doses of EPO. Originating from the Netherlands, the products were to be delivered to a woman in Zonnebeke. However, according to Het Nieuwblad, the actual recipient was to be Sven S. He races at an amateur level and has claimed that the EPO doses were for himself; investigators will determine if this explanation is plausible.

On Monday of this week there was a search in the town of Ypres; it has been said that syringes and needles were found.

The soigneur’s full name is not referred to due to Belgian laws, but it is understood to be that of Sven Schoutteten.

In the meantime, the BMC Racing Team is playing down the connection. “I don’t know this man. An occasional soigneur for us? That means nothing to me,” claimed team president Jim Ochowicz. “I’ve no knowledge of an arrest. That’s the first time I’ve heard about this.”

Directeur sportif John Lelangue declined to comment, while rider Greg Van Avermaet told Belgian media that he had heard of him but not met him. “That name sounds familiar. I don't think he works for BMC though. I've never seen the guy at a race.”

However an examination of BMC Racing Team press releases suggests differently. On May 22nd of this year Schoutteten was part of the team staff for the new Skoda Velothon race in Berlin. One of the riders on the team was Van Avermaet, while Lelangue was the directeur sportif.

The soigneur has been listed on the roster for several other races, including the recent Giro della Toscana in Italy plus last year’s Tour of Poland.

At this point in time there is no indication that he has provided banned products to the team, but Ochowicz and Van Avermaet’s statements will need to be clarified.

Today’s story follows on from yesterday’s news that former Silence-Lotto rider Wim Vansevenant is suspected of illegally importing a doping product, namely the banned peptide hormone TB-500. He has claimed that the product was for his own use only, and was intended to make him feel younger.

He was due to drive one of five VIP coaches for the Omega Pharma Lotto team at the Tour de France. He has now been told by the squad that he will not be carrying out the role. As a result of the case, team cars going to the Tour de France were searched yesterday.

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