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Millar's allegations on VDB blood doping denied

Cycling News
April 17, 15:45,
April 17, 15:48
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 17, 2012
David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)

David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)

  • David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)
  • During a successful year on the bike Frank Vandenbroucke made unwanted headlines in 1999 when he was arrested by French police but later released.
  • Frank Vandenbroucke in 2004
  • David Millar (Garmin-Barraduda)

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Former national coach and parents refute claims

In a late reaction to David Millar's book "Racing Through The Dark", which was published last year and in which the British rider recalls the years prior to his doping suspension, Belgium's former national coach José De Cauwer and the parents of Frank Vandenbroucke have refuted Millar's allegations that the deceased Belgian used blood doping at the 1999 World Championships in Verona.

In the autobiography, Millar alleges that VDB transfused two bags of blood plasma on the evening prior to the road race, which were supposedly brought to his team hotel by a Cofidis teammate. The reason for this transfusion was, according to Millar, that VDB's hematocrit values were above the allowed 50 percent, and that he had to increase his blood volume in order to lower his hematocrit.

Former Belgian national coach José De Cauwer, who was in charge of the Belgian selection at the time, has refuted the claims. To him, a transfusion was unlikely because VDB's blood values did not exceed the 50 percent threshold. "On the evening before the said blood transfusion, Frank received an anti-doping control. I seem to remember that our team leader was declared able to race on the next day," de Cauwer told Nieuwsblad.

Vandenbroucke's parents, Chantal and Jean-Jacques, also dismissed the account, understandably upset over any late contribution to the drug-and doping-related lifestyle of their deceased son. "All these wild tales over Frank, they must stop," said Chantal Vanruymbeke. "Why are these stories necessary years after his death? Even after his death, they can't let him rest in peace. This story is completely invented. And Frank cannot defend himself anymore against those lies."

Vandenbroucke finished seventh in the 1999 Worlds, despite a crash in which he sustained fractures to both of his wrists. The Belgian died on October, 12, 2009 of a pulmonary embolism while on holiday in Senegal.


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