The never-ending story of Frank Vandenbroucke's legal troubles has added yet another chapter, as a Belgian court has ruled that a doping case stemming from a search of his house in 2002 must be re-opened, according to Sporza.
The story started with a house search in 2002, when Belgian authorities found banned products including EPO, Clenbuterol, growth hormones, morphine, and amphetamines. He was suspended for six months, but only for races in Flanders. The Belgian Court of Appeal dismissed the charges, saying there were procedural failures. A civil case proceeded and wound its slow way through the courts.
This past March, some six years later, the Belgian Court of Appeal dismissed the case, saying he had already served a sporting suspension and any further punishment would be double jeopardy. However, this decision was appealed to the Hof van Cassatie, the highest court in the land, which deals only with points of law and not with the facts of the case. That court ruled on Tuesday that the Court of Appeal in Antwerp must now re-hear the case.
Vandenbroucke and his attorneys did not have any comment on the latest development. He was recently placed on inactive status by his current team, Mitsubishi-Jartazi, after being named in a cocaine investigation, but was scheduled to start riding again this month. (SW)