BMC Racing to examine involvement with soigneur imprisoned in EPO investigation
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

BMC Racing to examine involvement with soigneur imprisoned in EPO investigation

by Shane Stokes at 1:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Will study relationship with Sven Schoutteten

BMC Racing TeamHours after the news that an occasional soigneur with the BMC Racing Team, Sven Schoutteten, had been imprisoned as a result of a drug seizure in October 2009 plus a house search earlier this week, team management has promised to carry out a full investigation.

“This is very disturbing news,” said BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz in a statement. “Although he was only picked up to work when we didn't have enough regular therapists to support the races (he worked two days this year and 13 in 2010), we want to make sure his interaction with our team was nothing out of the ordinary.

“We do not believe there were any improprieties happening during his time with the team, but we want to make sure. He was not scheduled to be at this year's Tour de France, of course.”

Ochowitz earlier appeared to deny knowing the soigneur, telling Het Nieuwsblad “I don’t know this man. An occasional soigneur for us? That means nothing to me. I’ve no knowledge of an arrest. That’s the first time I’ve heard about this.”

Team rider Greg Van Avermaet said that he had heard of him but not met him. “That name sounds familiar. I don't think he work for BMC though. I've never seen the guy at a race.”

However 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.

He also worked on the recent Giro della Toscana with the team.

Ochowitz’ statement that Schoutteten only worked 13 days appears to vary slightly from team press releases issued last year. As noted earlier by the blogger Inrng, he worked on a total of at least eight races. These are the Tour of Poland, Tour de Wallonie, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold, E3 Prijs, Gent Wevelgem, Nokere Koerse and the Ronde van het Groene Hart. Providing he was there from start to finish for each of those, the total would be 18 racing days.

The team added in its statement that the charges related to 2009, and said that it only began working with him after that point.

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. Some reports have stated that this is Schoutteten’s wife.

He denies buying EPO to treat others, saying that the large number of doses were for personal use only. He has competed at an amateur level in Belgium.

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