Tom Steels will keep his job with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, despite appearing on the “suspicious” list for having used EPO at the 1998 Tour de France. “We unreservedly support Tom,” said team boss Patrick Lefevere.
Lefevere criticized the French Senate's report, which was was issued on Wednesday and listed “positive” and suspicious” riders from the 1998 and 1999 Tours. “Should a country with such high unemployment spend its money on this?” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
In stating his support for Steels, who is a sports director and trainer for the team, Lefevere said “Is there no more benefit of the doubt?”
Other involved have not been so lucky. Jeroen Blijlevens was released yesterday by Team Belkin, after his name appeared n the positive list, and Abraham Olano lost his position as technical director of the Vuelta a España. Stuart O'Grady also has been removed from seat on the athletes committee of the Australian Olympic Committee.