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Belgian doping trial gets underway

By:
Laura Weislo
Published:
September 28, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for September 28, 2007
Jo Planckaert meets the press

Jo Planckaert meets the press

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Cycling legend Johan Museeuw went on trial on Thursday along with ten others accused of supplying or...

Cycling legend Johan Museeuw went on trial on Thursday along with ten others accused of supplying or using performance enhancing drugs. The primary defendant, veterinarian Jose Landuyt is accused trafficking performance enhancing drugs. If found guilty, Landuyt could a two year sentence (half suspended) while Museeuw faces 'hefty' fines. Landuyt and former professional cyclist Jo Planckaert were present to hear the charges, while Museeuw chose to send his lawyer.

"We want to give a clear signal to the world of cycling," said prosecutor Wouter Haelewyn. "The drugs harmed the body and were designed to give those that took them an unfair edge in competitions."

Landuyt's co-defendant, physiotherapist Herman Verseele faces an 18-month sentence, half of it suspended, for importing doping products.

Museeuw, the three-time Paris-Roubaix winner, along with Mario De Clercq, Jo Planckaert and Chris Peers are accused of using EPO. Only Museeuw admitted to any wrongdoing, claiming he was guilty of "dishonesty" at the end of his career earlier in a press conference in January. His former competitor, two-time Tour of Flanders winner Edwig Van Hooydonck, accused him of using drugs for his entire career.

Landuyt's lawer admitted that his client had made mistakes, but denied he was the head of a doping ring.

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