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Breyne attempts suicide after positive doping test

Cycling News
December 20, 2013, 21:30,
December 20, 2013, 21:41
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu

Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu

  • Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu
  • The stage 8 podium at Tour of Taihu: Boris Shpilevsky, Jonathan Breyne and Ahmet Örken
  • Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) narrowly beat the sprinters on stage 8

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Belgian cyclist released from hospital after night of observation

Jonathan Breyne is recovering from a suicide attempt. The 22-year-old rider received news of a positive doping test for clenbuterol earlier this week, and one day later he swallowed large amounts of pills. He was rushed to a hospital in Gent on Thursday, where his stomach was pumped empty. After spending the night in hospital, he was released on Friday according to

Breyne, who rides for Crelan-Euphony since 2011 and signed a contract with Continental team To Win-Josan for next season, rode the Tour of Hainan and the Tour of Taihu Lake in October and November. He won the eighth stage in Taihu Lake.

"I received the news by email," he told one hour prior to his suicide attempt. "I have done nothing to deserve this but how do I prove this happened in China?" 

China is notorious for the use of Clenbuterol in livestock, and the World Anti Doping Agency warned athletes about it in 2011. Clenbuterol is mostly known because of the traces found in Alberto Contador's body, after which the Spaniard lost his 2010 Tour de France victory.

"The doses found in my body were much bigger than in Contador's case, the UCI has told me," Breyne said.

In the interview he gave to on Thursday, he said that he hadn't eaten since hearing the news. "I don't feel well at all, " he said. "I haven't eaten since. I don't understand why this happens to me. I feel really sick."

One hour later, he took large amounts of medicine, his father told the Belgian website. He was rushed to hospital for treatment. He was conscious in the emergency room but had to spend the night at the hospital for observation. He was released on Friday afternoon.

Michael Rogers also tested positive for Clenbuterol and has claimed in a personal statement that he did not knowingly take Clenbuterol. He said that the substance must have been in contaminated meat. Both Rogers and Breyne have been provisionally suspended pending analysis of their B-samples.

Breyne is unsure, as of now, whether he wants his B-sample to be tested. 

JackSpoke 10 months ago
Stay strong lad. You need to live a long life.
welker3257 10 months ago
I hope he gets his life back on track.
bikebandit 10 months ago
Poor guy. I hope he recovers. Life is more than cycling. But if this isn't the biggest admission of guilt, I'm not sure what is.
KatoMiler 10 months ago
I get what your implying, but I don't necessarily agree. That's only one interpretation for the motivation behind the attempt. I see it as admission of deep despair, not necessarily intended use. It can't be an easy life these days for pros. You train to exhaustion, eat like squirrels, and have to constantly sweat whether something you came in contact with has trace amounts of any banned substance. I'm not going anywhere near the idea that the guy's clean, but I'm also not ready to assume intentional use. And I get your point, so easy in this current environment to make the link. Attempted suicide is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Like you, bb, I wish him and his family well. Certainly better days ahead if, and only if, we choose to stay in the game.
sinar63 10 months ago
I could not agree more with you. It seams there are at least from what I read and hear from people traveling to China issues in the health and food standards which could possibly destroy many professional cyclist career. I think any new case needs to be carefully analysed before a rider should get suspension. I feel for the honst guys
the vagabond 10 months ago
Three capital ALWAYS. And yet the very case you're talking about proves it to not be true.
Chrono 10 months ago
Chrono 10 months ago
Just that above to see that I can actually post here. I've made about a dozen unsuccessful efforts to post a proper response to the original comment with not even the vaguest suggestion of a 'bad' word or hateful, even negative tone, in my post. What a total waste of time & what a moronic vetting system.
Chrono 10 months ago
Was just trying to say that psychological 'evidence' can very easily be made to suggest two very different realities. Breyne's reaction could just as easily suggest an innocent conscience to whom being clean matters so much, as a guilty conscience.
Lightening Toke 10 months ago
Hehe. I just had this post rejected, but without the asterisks. But of course it was. "I know what you mean. I had a longish comment rejected a few days ago. It had no swear words, no obscene language at all. I went to the original and took out "G*d" from "for G*d and Queen". I deleted the phrase, "caffeine, c*caine, and strychnine". I was then allowed to post the comment. W*F?"
runninboy 10 months ago
I agree. I have had so many comments rejected. Nothing that should be censored. Sometimes i cut & paste a quote from the article and my comment is rejected. Just crazy. I don't think about the guilt of innocence after someone attempting suicide. I just think they need to realize there is nothing in sport worth taking your own life. Hopefully he will get the help he needs to see how much there is to live for in this life.
wrinklyvet 10 months ago
Get over it - it's an inadequate machine. It's a program or an algorithm - whatever. It's not a person. Try typing "opportunity" without the quotes. It doesn't get through. It took me ages to find out that this was the unacceptable word preventing me from saying what I wanted to say. I think this one is to try to defeat some of the spam. But you're right. It's not logical and it's frustrating. However, treat it as a fun exercise to defeat the system!
TheBean 10 months ago
A statement of admission would be more telling, Bandit. An attempted suicide is a tragic event that could be related to his positive or may be completely unrelated to his positive. In any case, I hope this young man has friends and family who can help him through a tough time.
tunguska75 10 months ago
You sir are an insensitive arse!
DAVE P 10 months ago
Could not agree more. People like him want to bring back the ducking stool - you know the one, she drowns she's innocent, she doesn't she's a witch.
TGeneC 10 months ago
Yeah. After all, the dumb kid likely came up in a poor industrial neighborhood and managed to bust his butt for years, sacrificing more than most can even imagine, and made it on to a UCI Pro team. Now, doper or innocent, he stands to lose it all. The ultimate dream gone. But a suicide attempt, why he MUST be guilty! After all, if he was innocent he'd fight and prove it and be pardoned. Just like........ No one in this "witch hunt" age. When did pro cyclists stop being human? And when did people lose compassion and decency?
nowhereman 10 months ago
I'm really sorry but your stupid remark qualifies you for being a complete fool, who truly ought to keep "opinions" like those to himself. if for no ones sake but your own. As Katomller describes it is truly a sign of deep despair. Past that, you have no idea what else it implies. People like you are too quick to judge, and then start hitting the key boards in forums, trumpeting all of your stupendous ignorance.
n085329 10 months ago
This is one of the problems with strict liability... I don't condone doping one little bit, but gee, you have to feel for the guys that do get it through tainted foodstuff. It would be kind of like bing convicted for murder when you know you didn't do it.
sbroaddus 10 months ago
i doubt seriously if any rider ever really has received a clenbuterol positive due to tainted foodstuff. In spite of their heartfelt protestations.
Juan Geovany Carrazana 10 months ago
Not riders but how about an entire soccer team under 23 in Mexico about 3 or4 years ago.....
Pokerface07 10 months ago
It was players from 19 of 24 teams in U23 World Cup! 109 positives.
runninboy 10 months ago
Alot of horse is consumed in Mexico, clenbuterol is used by horse trainers. The problem with Mexican "beef" is very likely attributed to the mislableing of horse as beef.
Lightening Toke 10 months ago
I think there was an American woman, track racer maybe, who popped for ClenB after racing in Mexico. Given the problems in Mexico, I say she should get the benefit of the doubt on a food-ingestion defence.
oldultrarunner 10 months ago
The thing is, that if you know that China (and I'm not buying that either for Roger's "contaminated meat B.S. story") then why are you even eating the meat in those countries, like China and Mexico? Makes no sense whatsoever. If I were competing in China and Mexico and supposedly there was a history of clenbuterol being salted into meat (even though China has outlawed this for years), then why the hell would you even eat the meat there? And then when you get a postive test, it's boo hoo hoo.
Pokerface07 10 months ago
I have to go and race in Mexico next year. Now I get that I should't eat pork or beef... but some people say that even things like chicken, eggs, milk, etc can be tainted. I'm going to have a VERY limited diet if everything is off limits! And it's not like I'll be there for just a day or 2. It'll be more like a couple of weeks. It's easy for people to sit there and say "don't eat his or don't eat that" but the realities are often ore complicated, especially for those involved. (I will definitely avoid beef and pork though!)
veterinar 10 months ago
If you would have been charged with a murder you DIDN'T commit, would you try to prove your innocence or try to commit suicide? just doesn't make sense psychologically...
Broth3r 10 months ago
And your psychological analysis doesn't make sense either. Some people would take a stand, as you suggest, and you can argue that's the most correct answer. It probably. But a lot of people, at no fault of themselves, are just not as strong. Some just can't cope.
veterinar 10 months ago
Some people just can't cope - agree. This is actually the case for all people in all kinds of jobs, not only cyclists... ;-) You may be right that in itself it doesn't indicate guilt, but I think it's quite clear (with 95%) he doped. I would say I feel bad for him as a person. As a cyclist, there are norms and he was treated as everyone else who gets caught, which is fair.
Nilsson 10 months ago
You should be ashamed of your improper and unfounded certainty.
sinar63 10 months ago
Ohh veterinar, I just don't get you ....... have you ever thought of a rider loosing his income and status and dreams he will never be able to fullfill because of something which is not his fault ( after all we have killed many not guilty people ) Can you please explain yor 95% certanty I am sure you will give me a full report.
PatsyCline 10 months ago
I disagree 100%
veterinar 10 months ago
2 sinar63 Obviously, that's just my opinion, but 5% tops is the odds I give to the case he got it from poisoned meat... Of course there's a chance! So what do you propose to do in this case?
MattCla 10 months ago
You are an ignoramous. I'm 100% certain of that.
wfaulconer 10 months ago
When you get this kind of test result against you as a cyclist, you can't prove your innocence in the public eye, EVER. This kid gets that distinction as evidence by this forum, from age 22 on. If he were to be innocent and continue, it will haunt him every race he does, god forbid he win something. It's a fairly significant stain that it would be hard to just cope with.
KatoMiler 10 months ago
Check out a Hitchcock movie classic, "The Wrong Man" starring Henry Fonda. A great, great story.
aeromono 10 months ago
The UCI should offer free and immediate counselling and support after a positive - like what some employers offer fired workers. Also, is CHRISTMAS the right time to announce a positive from last fall....kind of cruel, wait a few weeks. Geez. Hope he feels better soon. This mentality that cycling IS life, is what can cause people to dope. He needs to look at the bigger picture, but being vilified and outcast by the cycling community, losing his identity (pro cyclist) an feeling disgraced must be a heavy burden. Still a young guy, there could be college - a new perspective- for a few years and then maybe a return to cycling, his life is far from over....
veterinar 10 months ago
Let's stick with the line you suggested for a minute. A cyclist who under-preformed and his contract wasn't extended is like a worker who was fired. A cyclist who doped is like a worker fired because he embezzled company funds, or sexually harassed someone... in short, he broke the law... Yeah let's also not arrest criminals during Christmas, it isn't fair! :-) Obviously life isn't just cycling. Look at Riccardo Riccò's successful career as a barista.
aeromono 10 months ago
but PART OF HIS JOB - implicitly - is to "take care of himself" and dope, so it's like getting fired for doing your job. They all dope, we know this, but treat these guys like pariahs for being desperate and careless enough to get caught. MINDS BLOWN. (This will be very hard to digest for many of you).
veterinar 10 months ago
Well, if you "KNOW, they all dope", I'm sure the rest of here have no reason to doubt this, and have to agree with you.. ;-)
aeromono 10 months ago
reality vs. fantasy is very hard for people to accept, particularly when they idolize sport figures who kick a ball or pedal a bicycle. You don't have to agree with me, and I won't tell your children that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy don't exist, most people are disillusioned and cynical enough. However, I was involved in a number of endurance sports and NEVER met an elite athlete who was truly clean. In fact, the idea would make them laugh out loud.
runninboy 10 months ago
#aeromono. I was an Elite level runner. in middle distance and anchored a relay team that set a National record at the Mt Sac Relays. I never took anything more than Gatorade. I know for a fact that you can be Elite and clean. It is just easier to dope.
sbroaddus 10 months ago
get out of here with that arrogant nihilistic attitude. it's a pity if you're a member of the they-all-dope crowd.... it's such a cynical, know-it-all (not really) outlook. whenever someone says it they think they are positioning themselves above all the other fans that supposedly get duped every time a rider is busted. well, guess what, the sport used to be very dirty, and guess what else, it's still not super clean, okay?! problem is the mentality of the they-all-dope crowd... if a young talented rider has it then it makes it much easier for them to decide foolishly to dope ("uhhh, everyone else is doing it"), then they get caught, then look what happens.
aeromono 10 months ago
You love to talk about young and talented riders, and I've heard your kind before (usually delusional parents of mediocre young riders), but the kids beg for dope the hardest, because when they really start to race (not local parking lot crits) they are getting kicked around and guttered in the fourth echelon. I admire your idealism, and wish I could see the world in such a positive black and white way.
sbroaddus 10 months ago
you just see the black, my friend. and this is a sport that is trying to move toward the light. you can either help it move in that direction, or hold it back.
Sergiofromoz 10 months ago
So what has Xmas to do with it? It's about actions and then consequences and then due process. Hopefully a deterrent to others who consider doping. Not suggesting he is guilty or innocent - hoping he will recover..... It's only a sport not worth dying for!!
Hill Special 1980 10 months ago
its not only a sport to him, its his livelihood
Sergiofromoz 10 months ago
With all due respect - still not worth dying for .
thresholdbrew 10 months ago
The issue you stated for so many cyclists "cycling IS life," couldn't be more true. For that reason, I think that it is completely irrelevant whether Breyne knowingly or unknowingly took clenbuterol. The test result is simply beside the point. Athletes, coaches, and organization need to face the fact that there is a deep, mental problem running throughout the peloton. Racers resort to drugs not because they need to take them so they are on an equal playing field. They resort to drugs because there is some psychological need that they are trying to fill, or for what it seems like in Breyne's case, his life lacked any sort of balance. When an athlete has no other interests or backup plans to professional cycling, there should be concern for rash decisions.
aeromono 10 months ago
the real haters are going to come out and condemn this poor - and young - guy who made a serious mistake but certainly deserves best wishes at this point. Maybe VDB, Jimenez and Pantani needed psychological help, but only got condemnation and alienation. Lance - a sociopath and without a conscience - is content and golfing, while this guy is suicidal, might say something about their character.
Rick Valentine 10 months ago
There are no victims in doping!
Ripper 10 months ago
Not sure if you're joking, but there's lots of victims in doping. Don't take this as an apologist frame of reference, but I just don't think all positives are the same or deserve the same reaction (and that goes beyond cycling)
chiocciolis_calves 10 months ago
A human being has tried to kill himself and still the self-righteous zealots cannot help themselves and instead focus on whether he doped for a sporting event or not. What miserable, contemptible people you are. I hope more mercy is extended to you when your various sins are given light one day, albeit with far less eyes watching.
veterinar 10 months ago
You know this is a cycling forum, and not a support group, right? ;-)
Anonymous 10 months ago
We have some compassion which you obviously don't. Good luck with that.
veterinar 10 months ago
I actually feel sorry for the guy, but the pompousness of the previous comment was too much...
MattCla 10 months ago
I'm glad you are of the few truly distasteful human beings. Depression is an illness that can be treated but I'm not sure about your psychosis (lack of empathy). Merry xmas.
MattCla 10 months ago
I'm glad you are 'one' of the few truly distasteful human beings 'in this forum'.
bianchi1885 10 months ago
This is a really sad story. Cycling and racing is irrelevant when you see something like this. Keep yourself alive, dude! The rest will take care of itself.
Jittery Joe 10 months ago
Suicide attempt after testing positive? Very poor judgment...