The disciplinary committee of the Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Flemish Community) on Tuesday upheld Björn Leukemans' two-year suspension for testosterone usage, rejecting his appeal of the sentence handed down in January. The Belgian rider had argued that a team doctor prescribed a substance which caused the positive test and therefore he was not responsible. Leukemans can further appeal the suspension to the Council of the State.
The 30 year-old tested positive at an unannounced, out-of-competition test shortly before the World Championships in Stuttgart last September. The team subsequently fired both Leukemans and the doctor whom he alleged provided the substance.
The former Silence-Lotto rider did not attend the session on Tuesday. His attorney, Johnny Maeschalck, told the Belga news agency: "I will first study the decision. Then I will talk to Björn and together we will discuss what we will do."