Lotto Dstny suspends rider for alleged ‘anti-doping violation’ involving nasal spray

Lennert Van Eetvelt is temporarily suspended and facing possible sanction in use of a nasal spray in February.

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Lotto Dstny temporarily suspended promising young Belgian rider Lennert Van Eetvelt for an “alleged breach of anti-doping laws,” the team confirmed Saturday.

Officials said Van Eetvelt, 21, took a nasal spray in consultation with his medical supervisor during the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var on 19 February, but he’s run afoul with anti-doping authorities.

“We have talked to our rider and medical staff and are confident in a good outcome, but we are following the established procedures and therefore put Lennert on non-active for the time being, pending further investigation,” Lotto Dstny officials said in a press note Saturday.

The substance referred to in the dossier is an authorized substance, found in a nasal spray that is freely available and authorized in competition, if mentioned during a control and when its use is in accordance with the package leaflet, an official statement read.

Officials did not release the name of the nasal spray or more specifics about what might have run afoul with anti-doping rules.

There was no immediate word from the UCI or Belgian anti-doping authorities.

“My world was turned upside down for a moment yesterday. No rider wants to receive such a letter,” Van Eetvelt said. “I also don’t really understand what happened. At the doping control, I clearly mentioned that I was taking the nasal spray, as I have already done before in my career. I am not aware of any wrongdoing and hope this is just a mistake and this nightmare will end soon.”

Van Eetvelt joined the WorldTour this year following a promising U23 career that included a stage win at the “Baby Giro,” the overall at the Peace Race, and podiums on the U23 editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne.

On Saturday morning, Van Eetvelt sat down with the team’s board of directors and explained the situation, together with the team doctor, officials said.

“We had a good consultation, listened to what happened to him and we are confident in a good outcome”, the team stated. “The team applies a strict zero-tolerance policy and therefore Lennert has been put on non-active. We want to stress that this is in no way a conviction but merely the application of the MPCC (Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible) guidelines. It also gives Lennert time to substantiate his case in the best way possible.”

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