Bart Wellens' heart and other problems were caused by tooth root abscesses, according to a Belgian newspaper. Doping or a viral infection, which had also been mentioned as probably causes, are therefore eliminated, the newspaper said.
Wellens was taken to hospital with a high fever and heart and other organ problems the night before the Belgian cyclo-cross championships. He was in intensive care for a number of days. He still has only 31 percent liver function and his spleen is not functioning correctly, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
“It is not uncommon for patients with dental infections to contend with heart problems,” said Jeremy Hanson, spokesman for the Association of Flemish dentists. “Therefore, anyone who has to undergo surgery on the heart, must first be sent to a dentist.”
Wellens was pleased with the “very good and confirming news”, and his team, Telenet-Fidea is expected to issue a statement “with good news" soon. Wellens' house was searched this week as part of a doping investigation.