Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) has been named as a witness in a doping investigation involving a Belgian doctor he visited in the past. The Belgian cyclocross rider has not been accused of doping or suspended by his team or federation, but has been replaced by Sven Vanthourenhout (Crelan-Euphony) for this weekend’s World Cup event in Rome.
“Because he is mentioned in an investigation involving doping practices, we are obligated to keep him from the World Cup selection. Maybe it’s a harsh punishment, but that’s the rule we’ve used for years” stated Jos Smets, director of the Belgian Cycling Federation.
Meeusen was stopped by authorities en route to Diegem last weekend and his camper was searched. Nothing was found.
In a post on Twitter earlier today, Meeusen proclaimed his innocence.
“I am part of a doping investigation but I have nothing to hide and I AM NOT A CHEATER !!!!!!”
One year ago, teammate Bart Wellens was rushed to the hospital and almost lost his life to septic shock, a bacterial blood infection that originated in an infected tooth and spread throughout his body. While many initially suspected the illness was doping related, Wellens proclaimed his innocence and a police investigation cleared the rider of any doubt.
Meeusen will be meeting with investigators next week as a witness to discuss his involvement with the doctor at the head of the inquiry.