Betsema faces full suspension after B-sample positive

Dutch cyclo-cross racer Denise Betsema (Marlux-Bingoal), who was provisionally suspended after returning a positive test for an anabolic steroid, is now facing a full suspension after Sporza reported in May that a reliable source told its editors that the B-sample also tested positive.

Bestema is currently listed on the UCI's table of provisionally suspended athletes, but has not been added to the table of Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADVR) sanctions.

The UCI announced in April that it had provisionally suspended Betsema after an anti-doping control, planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), resulted in an AAF for "Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid(s) administered exogenously".

The positive doping control sample was taken at the Hoogerheide World Cup on January 27, 2019, where Betsema placed seventh.

Betsema had a breakthrough season, winning five smaller races before taking her first World Cup victory in Koksijde last November. The results earned her a full-time contract with Marlux-Bingoal.

She finished fourth in the World Championships in February, and ended her season with four straight victories, including the Superprestige finale in Middelkerke, finishing third overall in the series behind world champion Sanne Cant and compatriot Annemarie Worst.

After receiving notice of her positive test, Betsema said she was innocent and that she would request her B-sample be analysed. In an interview with Nos, she said "I am disappointed because I am absolutely innocent. I am going to challenge this and will request a counter-expertise."

She also took to social media to proclaim her innocence in a post on Instagram, which was published on Cyclo-cross Magazine.

"What a nightmare this is. As many have already heard, my doping test of the World Cup in Hoogerheide was found to be positive (steroids, steroids). To be right at home: I have never used prohibited drugs and have never been tested positive throughout the year.

"We are really stunned and in shock. How awful to get this news while I am busy with sport and soul. I feel that I have been found guilty before the whole procedure has been completed.

"There has never been a hair on my head that thinks about cheating, and certainly not about using prohibited drugs. It hurts me so much that my name is associated with practices for which I have such an aversion.

"This must have a cause, but I don’t know it yet. We are now looking for that.

"I want to thank everyone who now gives me the chance to prove my innocence and stand behind me. I will do everything in my power to clear my name as soon as possible."


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