VDB gets community service

A court in Belgium has sentenced Frank Vandenbroucke to 200 hours of community service for doping of

A court in Belgium has sentenced Frank Vandenbroucke to 200 hours of community service for doping of
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Frank Vandenbroucke has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service by a court in Termonde, Belgium, after being found guilty of importing and possessing doping products. The 30-year-old Belgian will have to complete his sentence of "work in the general interest" in the Belgian health sector. Vandenbroucke was not present in court when his sentence was delivered, but his lawyer, Luc Deleu, described the sentence as "light". The MrBookmaker.com rider has 15 days to appeal the sentence. Deleu indicated that an appeal was probable based on his assertion that Flemish law explicitly excludes the type of court trying Vandenbroucke from becoming involved in doping issues. In addition, Vandenbroucke has already served a ban imposed by the Flemish local government for these doping offences. In the event of Vandenbroucke having to serve the sentence imposed today, he will have to carry out the community service within the next 12 months. An expert at the trial estimated that the products found in the police raid on Vandenbroucke's home in February 2002, which included EPO, steroids and growth hormone, were worth about 7,500 euros (£5,000). Vandenbroucke has refused to name the supplier of these products, but they came from several other western European countries. According to AFP, the expert said, unless they had known otherwise, that the user of the haul would be "a person of restricted growth with renal problems, who was also anaemic, had a weak heart and was affected by psychotic behaviour." A psychiatric report on Vandenbroucke prepared for the court described the Belgian rider as "a person disconnected from reality, arrogant, affected by megalomania, narcissistic, dominant and very sensitive to criticism."

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