Shorts: Capelle, Kirchen

ore headlines about the EPO test as Ludovic Capelle has an 18-month ban lifted due to procedural te

ore headlines about the EPO test as Ludovic Capelle has an 18-month ban lifted due to procedural te

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

The 18-month ban imposed on former Belgian champion Ludovic Capelle has been lifted due to procedural irregularities. Capelle was banned in October after testing positive for blood-booster EPO during a race in June, and was subsequently sacked by the Landbouwkrediet team.

Landbouwkrediet team manager Gerard Bulens has told the Belga news agency: "We terminated Ludovic's contract in line with UCI regulations. I can't yet say whether we will take Ludovic back as I do not have enough information on the matter."

The decision to lift the ban was taken by Belgium's highest court after 29-year-old Capelle's legal team had indicated mistakes had been made during the testing process, including the wrong date being placed on the rider's sample. The decision allows Capelle to resume his pro career.

Capelle was initially ruled to have tested positive at the Gullegem kermesse in Belgium on June 7. He consistently stated his innocence, claiming he had taken nothing.

- It is perhaps fitting that a few days after the death of Charly Gaul, who was selected as Luxembourg's athlete of the 20th century, this year's prize for the country's sports personality of the year should go to another cyclist, Kim Kirchen. Winner of the Tour of Poland in September, the 27 year old enjoyed the best season of his career with Fassa Bortolo, and has signed a two-year deal with T-Mobile.

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