Belgian federation wants more from the "Dedecker file"

With the municipal elections in Belgium coming up in just over a week, VLD senator Jean-Marie...

With the municipal elections in Belgium coming up in just over a week, VLD senator Jean-Marie Dedecker has been making headlines with his public allegations that several top Belgian cyclists were involved in doping in Italy in February. At first, Dedecker said that he had knowledge that four cyclists used or asked for EPO, but now it seems that he has information about some 20 people (riders, soigneurs and dealers) who are involved in doping in Belgian cycling.

The Belgian cycling federation's prosecutor Jaak Fransen met with the senator on the basis of his initial allegations with the view to starting a possible investigation into the affair. According to Sportwereld, Dedecker and Fransen agreed not to make any of the names public, and Fransen was of the opinion that the information "is too light at the moment" to proceed. However, Fransen was not then aware of senator Dedecker's "full dossier" which named some 20 people, and has been given to Johan Sabbe, a magistrate specialising in drug matters. He has asked for this now.

According to Dedecker, Johan Sabbe will open an investigation into the matter, and this may or may not affect what the Belgian federation does. "If it appears that there is enough evidence, then we will open an investigation without waiting for the criminal investigation, and possibly start proceedings against people," Fransen was quoted by Sportwereld as saying. "We have to be sure, in order not to risk damaging anyone by unjust accusations."

It's also possible that the Belgian federation will wait for the criminal investigation to finish, as it does not have the same powers as the Belgian court authorities.

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