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Lotto doctor denies cortisone doping charges

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 17, 2013, 9:31 GMT,
Updated:
March 17, 2013, 9:43 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, March 17, 2013
The back of the Lotto Belisol bus

The back of the Lotto Belisol bus

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Cortisone used only for medical reasons, he claims

Lotto Belisol doctor Jan Mathieu has said that he doesn't understand the fuss regarding claims of  cortisone shots at the team, and denied having given cortisone for anything other than medical reasons.

The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported that Philippe Gilbert and others received cortisone on prescription from Lotto doctor Jan Mathieu with the aim of boosting his performance. The use of cortisone is forbidden unless the rider holds a therapeutic use exemption stating that he is taking it to treat an injury.

An anonymous former Lotto rider is said to have claimed that he also received the cortisone from Mathieu, “and he told me that he did the same thing with Gilbert.” Gilbert, now with BMC, has denied all the allegations.

"I do not understand the fuss,” Mathieu told Sporza.be. "I'm proud that I've worked with Gilbert and that has nothing to do with steroids."

"With my hand on heart I can say that I would only give a cortisone treatment for medical reasons. So it is indeed 100 per cent legal because it is not on the WADA list."

The doctor noted that he often prescribes it in his private practice. “Cortisone is in ointment, nasal spray, eye and ear drops, in many (products). Why should an athlete not use this prescription?"

He also applauded the UCI's decision to hold a cyclist out of racing for eight days after receiving cortisone. “ It's definitely not a good idea to exercise when you have received a cortisone shot in your knee."

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