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Sporza reports that the Belgian Cycling Federation has acquitted cyclocross star Tom Meeusen of doping allegations. It cited insufficient evidence and only indirect links between Meeusen and illegal, performance-enhancing treatments, such as cortisone and vaminolact.
There is a possibility that the UCI would appeal the decision. One outstanding question in the case is whether it would chose to appeal based on concerns over pro cycling’s ‘no-needle’ policy. This rule was in place in 2011, when Meeusen reportedly took a cortisone injection for a knee injury, but the Belgian Cycling Federation did not implement its no-needle policy until a year later.
Meeusen is one of several riders linked to Belgian doctor Chris Mertens, at the center of the scandal. Another notable professional in question is Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). A Belgian prosecutor is seeking to ban the classics star for two years, but according to Sporza, he said that this latest ruling may indicate that the case against Van Avermaet is weak.