Troubled cycling star Frank Vandenbroucke’s name been named in a drug case being heard in a court in Ieper, Belgium according to the Flemish newspaper Het Laatse Nieuws.be.
According to the paper investigators in West Flanders looking into drug dealing gangs, are alleged to have come across Vandenbroucke's name on a dealer’s list of customers. The court wants to question Vandenbroucke, who is scheduled to return to Belgium today after a training period in Italy.
Mitsubishi-Jartaz team manager Patrick Stallaert said "I have not yet been informed about this matter, and thus I cannot comment on it. I do not spend all my time with my riders. I have no idea what they are up to in their free time." He added, "What will the team do? We have to wait for the judicial investigation. I can't react based on just a newspaper article. First, I want to find out the truth. Then we can sit down with the team and make a decision with the other sponsors and managers. We don't want to react too hastily."
After a glittering early start, Frank Vandenbroucke’s cycling career has been blighted by controversy. In a two year winning streakk the bad boy of Belgian cycling won Paris-Nice, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Het Volk and Ghent Wevelgem riding for Mapei and Cofidis – then he went spectaclalrly off the rails. His career since has been a series of bans, appeals, court cases, brushes with the law, substance abuse, arson, drink driving, and attempted suicide. In that time he has ridden for a further seven teams – some observers have been surprised he found the time.