Pieter Van Herck, teammate to cyclo-cross star Sven Nys, has reportedly been given a two-year suspension after being found guilty of ozone-therapy conducted in 2011. The finding comes following the anti-doping investigation being carried out on Belgian doctor Dr. Chris Mertens.
The investigation surrounding Mertens is reported to include numerous professional and amateur athletes. Cyclo-cross rider Tom Meeusen had his camper searched and was questioned by federal investigators earlier in the year, however, is said not to be directly connected with the controversial treatment that involves extracting blood, mixing it with ozone before re-injecting into the body.
Jurgen Van Den Broeck admitted to visiting the doctor for legitimate reasons in the past. "I was ill with a sinus problem and I had to take care of it, and my team doctor Jan Mathieu was unavailable because he was abroad at the time," he said earlier this year.
Van Herck stood firm by the position that he used the doctor’s services in an attempt to remedy a health issue and not for performance enhancement.
"But it did not cure that and [now] my career is ruined. Now I have to look for another job," the 21-year-old Van Herck said to Hln.be.
The Belgian rider was is in his first year with Crelan-Euphony after moving up from the Continental ranks at the end of 2012.