Museeuw, Peers and Planckaert banned

Retired Classics star Johan Museeuw, and fellow Belgians Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert have been ban

Retired Classics star Johan Museeuw, and fellow Belgians Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert have been ban
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE The Belgian cycling federation (LVB) has banned Johan Museeuw, Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert for four years, two of them suspended, and fined them 6,500 euros for breaking the federation's regulations on doping. The bans relate to information obtained during an ongoing case in Kortrijk involving veterinarian Jos Landuyt and soigneur Herman Versele, who are on trial for alleged trafficking of hormones and doping products. The president of the LVB's disciplinary commission, Achiel Luyten, did not release details of the precise charges laid against the trio because judgement has yet to be delivered in the Kortrijk case. All three riders have denied charges made against them during the Landuyt case and none of them has tested positive for banned products. However, according to a Belgapress report in today's La Dernire Heure, doping products were found in each of the trio's homes during searches conducted as part of the Landuyt investigation. Subsequent blood and urine tests on the trio all delivered negative results for doping products. Museeuw is the biggest name of the three, but is likely to be the least affected as he retired from racing in April this year. However, the two-year ban does prevent him from undertaking any directeur sportif duties for the Quick Step team for which he rode in the last phase of his long career and by whom he is still employed. The implications of the ban could be worse for Chocolade Jacques rider Peers, 34, and MrBookmaker.com's Plankaert, who will be 34 in December. Both could find themselves forced into retirement from racing, although it is likely all three will appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport against their suspensions. Belgium's world champion mountain biker, Filip Meirhaeghe, has also been banned by the LVB after admitting use of EPO following a positive out-of-competition test in Canada in June. He also received a ban for four years, but all but 15 months were suspended. Some leniency was shown to Meirhaeghe because he admitted using EPO.
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