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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Cycling News Flash for July 19, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Bruylandts positive for EPO

28 year old Belgian cyclist Dave Bruylandts has tested positive for EPO after an out of competition control following the GP Pino Cerami on April 8, 2004. Bruylandts finished fourth and was drug tested in that race, but was also visited by UCI's anti-doping inspectors the next day. The latter test revealed traces of EPO in his urine in both his A and B samples.

Bruylandts confirmed the result at a press conference later this afternoon, but declared that he did not consciously take EPO. "I won't contest the result," he said. "The only possible explanation is that there was something in the products I got from my nutritional advisor, whom I trust. It was certainly a mistake to trust him. I have started my own investigation."

Bruylandts was controlled at the GP Pino Cerami, but the result was negative. However, he has been closely monitored by the UCI since the start of the year as a rider with anomalous blood values, hence the surprise visit the next day. In 2000, he was sacked by Farm Frites after being controlled with a hematocrit of 53%.

The Belgian cycling federation will question Bruylandts on Tuesday and he faces a suspension of between six months and two years.

Bruylandts had a strong start to the season, riding very well in the Tour de Langkawi (3rd), E3 Prijs (caught in the finale), Dwars Door Vlaanderen (4th) and Ronde van Vlaanderen, where he was a very strong third. However, while training for Liege-Bastogne-Liege, he broke his elbow and his spring was finished. Although he has resumed training since then, he said at the press conference that "It will certainly be a while before I can race again."

For the time being, he has not been sacked by his Chocolade Jacques team.

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