Former Belgian pro scammed by Australian firm
The doping case involving former pro rider Wim Vansevenant has taken a surprise turn. An analysis has shown that the “doping products” he ordered did not contain the advertised contents, and that he was scammed by the company from which he bought the products.
Last June custom officials intercepted a package to Vansevenant from an Australian firm, which contained several bottles labelled as containing the “ultra-modern” doping product TB-500, a peptide hormone purported to increase muscle strength and promote healing. A Belgian court immediately opened an investigation, and suspicions arose that he was providing doping products to the Omega Pharma-Lotto team.
Vansevenant had ridden professionally from 1998 to 2008, and was with the Lotto team for the last six years of his career. He had been hired by Omega Pharma-Lotto to escort VIP guests at last year's Tour de France, but the team immediately cut its ties to him.
An analysis of the contents of the three bottles Vansevenant received showed them to be amino acids, and his lawyer said the charges should now be dropped. "It's not about doping, so he deserves no punishment," his lawyer said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
The court confirmed the analysis. “Analysis showed at the content of these bottles does not correspond to the product, the label on the product and the statements of ex-racer," said prosecutor spokesman Johan Lescrauwaet. "There were amino acids found, no doping products. There is also no evidence that he supplied products to third parties. "
The drug TB-500 is a synthetic protein, which consists of amino acids assembled into a specific order to replicate the active site of the Thymosin Beta 4. Presumably the amino acids found in the vials were not in the correct sequence or were disassembled.
Vansevenant is scheduled to appear before the Court on June 6 for further hearings.
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