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Belgian amateur champion receives one-year ban

The Flemish and Belgian flags wave wildly for Tom Boonen.

The Flemish and Belgian flags wave wildly for Tom Boonen. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Rudy Taelman, 49, Belgian amateur champion of his age category, has been handed a one-year ban for a positive doping control for which he had asked. As an active anti-doping advocate, he had instigated the doping controls performed by the Flemish Community at the Belgian Championships of the WAOD amateur cycling federation. But after he'd won his age group event, he tested positive for Methylhexanamine.

Meanwhile, Taelman has been able to gather enough evidence to show that his positive control was the result of a food supplement he'd taken. "I can't be as stupid to dope while at the same time asking for an anti-doping control myself? I'm not 100 percent against doping, but 1000 percent," he told Sportwereld.

Banned from competition until July 1, 2011, Taelman would have liked to take his case to court but lacks the money. Even the Belgian agency for food safety supports his argument that the Methylhexanamine came from a supplement by the name of Crack. "I especially looked for a safe supplement and my pharmacist said that Crack did not contain any doping," said Taelman. "How can I, along with thousands of recreational sportsmen, know that Crack contains Methylhexanamine?"

The affair has created a stir in Belgium, where food supplements are now under pressure. Also, Methylhexanamine is not forbidden during training but only in competition, which is another factor for confusion. "I'd like nothing more than that they continue anti-doping controls, also in competitions that are not for professionals. But what is really annoying is that recreational sportsmen - and there are a lot of them - are being deceived by the food supplement industry," Taelman said

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