Lotto-Dstny rider Lennert Van Eetvelt has been cleared to return to racing by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) after the Belgian was able to substantiate the use of nasal spray at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.
Last month, the 21-year-old was placed on non-active status by his team in accordance with Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) rules following an ‘alleged breach of anti-doping laws’ at the February stage race.
The substance – still unnamed – showed up in an anti-doping control at the race on February 19, with the AFLD asking for clarification two months later. Lotto-Dstny subsequently pulled Van Eetvelt from competition while the matter was resolved.
The substance in question is authorised for use in competition. Van Eetvelt, who last year won the Course de la Paix and finished runner-up at the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Giro d’Italia, said that he had listed the nasal spray and substance on the anti-doping form during the control.
“I use this nasal spray sporadically in consultation with the doctor,” Van Eetvelt said in a statement issued by Lotto-Dstny. “At the doping control, I had also clearly indicated the nasal spray on the form. It was therefore a surprise to me that the AFLD asked questions because frankly, I shouldn’t have to account for using it.
“I have now provided them with the demanded clarification. I was perfectly able to explain why and how often I use the spray. The doctor prescribes me this spray to treat my allergies. The substance found in my urine was perfectly explainable by this medical use.
“The AFLD accepted this and therefore does not pursue the matter further. Logical, as there was nothing wrong and I am a bit indignant that a case was made of this. Anyway, this is now fortunately behind us, and I am happy to be able to race again. I now want to put this behind me as soon as possible.”
The Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var was the sixth race of Van Eetvelt’s career, following from three days of the Challenge Mallorca, the Vuelta a Murcia, and the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior.
He took second and third places at the Challenge Mallorca, and later in the spring went on to make his WorldTour race debut at the Volta a Catalunya, where he finished 15th. The next month, shortly after La Flèche Wallonne, he was taken out of competition by Lotto-Dstny.
“We were never worried and always confident of a good outcome,” Lotto Dstny CEO Stéphane Heulot said, “Lennert was only temporarily put on non-active…
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