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CADF closes investigation into contents of Evenepoel's pocket

A race doctor reaches Remco Evenepoel after his crash
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel and his Deceuninck-QuickStep team did not break any doping rules at Il Lombardia, an investigation has concluded.

The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), which handles anti-doping matters on behalf of the UCI, was asked to look into the item removed from Evenepoel's pocket by team director Davide Bramati during the August race.

Evenepoel had fallen off a bridge and was awaiting medical attention when Bramati removed a white object from the rider's back pocket and put it into his own.

On Monday, the CADF announced it had closed its investigation with no action to be taken.

"After having heard from all concerned persons, including the rider and the team representatives, the CADF concluded that no anti-doping violation was committed and considers the matter closed, unless new elements are subsequently brought to its attention," read a statement.

"The CADF would like to thank Mr Evenepoel, Mr Bramati and the Team Deceuninck-Quick Step for their collaboration throughout the investigation."

Deceuninck-QuickStep publicly insisted the white object was "a small bottle containing nutrition products" and was removed so he could be "placed more comfortably on the stretcher".

UCI president David Lappartient had suggested the item may have been a data device, transmitting performance information from Evenepoel back to the team car, which is against UCI regulations.

"[It was] nothing illicit. I don't understand how one could even think that," Bramati himself told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I remember very well that they were frantic moments and that there was a need to remove the things that were on Remco's back because shortly afterwards he would have to lie on a stretcher. So, I took away his radio, gel, bar, the 'jar' of sugars, and in order not to leave them on the ground I put them in my pocket."

Deceuninck-QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevere went on to publicly condemn the investigation, claiming it was "proof that CADF is not neutral".

Evenepoel fractured his pelvis in the crash, which came on the descent off the Sormano late in the race. His recovery has progressed quicker than expected and he has been able to ride his bike outside. He will not race again in 2020 but looks set to make a full recovery for 2021.