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Quickstep reacts to Dedecker-related raids

By:
Antonio J. Salmerón
Published:
June 08, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:03 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News for June 8, 2007

One of the few Quickstep team members to be named in the recent raids in western Belgium , just...

One of the few Quickstep team members to be named in the recent raids in western Belgium, just three days prior to the country's federal elections, was soigneur Johan Molly. His house was searched and he was questioned and released.

"I can't really believe that Molly plays a role in a doping case," said Philiep Caryn, spokesman for the team sponsor. "I have complete faith in the good outcome of this matter," Caryn told Het Laatste Nieuews.

Team Manager Wilfried Peeters was upset at the headlines which linked Quickstep with the raid. "Don't ask me how they come to write that nonsense," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "And then they ask why the sponsors disappear. Is that their intention?"

Meanwhile, star sprinter Tom Boonen gave his reaction to the news. "They have made a whole zoo out of one mosquito," said the 2005 World Champion. The Belgian said that he heard Molly had been linked through an e-mail address. "But don't ask me for any details. I don't know any more."

Molly "is a soigneur for the whole team, not just for me," Boonen said of the man he has known for ten years. "I have always found him to be a very correct, reliable and good man, who does his job well."

Team Quickstep released a statement yesterday clarifying its stance in the raids.

The investigation, which led to 13 people being detained for questioning, were headed by Kortrijk judicial authorities, who acted upon statements made by politician Jean-Marie Dedecker last fall. Dedecker is on the ballots for this Sunday's elections.

Although only lesser-known riders were involved in yesterday's raid, Dedecker called it "the tip of the iceberg," and told Sportwereld that more would come out. He claimed to know "thirty to forty names, from all layers, from the youth cyclists to the pros." He added, "Don't expect me to name names now. However, I can say that the investigation is continuing."

Belgian officials will hold another press conference this afternoon to update the results of their doping raids carried out Thursday, and said they would not have any comment until that time. However, this did not stop the Belgian media from speculating on the names of persons involved in the raids and of the drugs which were found.

None of those involved were "big names", according to Sportwereld.be. It listed former riders Pierre Herinne, David Windels, Rik Coppens, and Patrick Schurm, as well as 19 year-old Kevin Claeys, in addition to Quickstep soigneur Johan Molly. The drugs found were alleged to be EPO, growth hormones, cortisone and "pot Belge." Those involved are said to have used codewords such as "wasp" and "pancakes."

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