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Cannondale Factory Racing drops Paulissen after positive test

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Roel Paulissen (Cannondale)

Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) (Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) outsprints Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) for second place.

Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) outsprints Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) for second place. (Image credit: Marius Maasewerd/EGO-Promotion)
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Belgian Champion Roel Paulissen (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Belgian Champion Roel Paulissen (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Cannondale Factory Racing officially parted ways with Roel Paulissen. The reigning mountain bike Marathon World Champion from Belgium tested positive for clomiphene in June and announced his retirement soon afterward.

"I am shocked. I have always been a strong fighter for a clean cycling sport and fair-play competition. I can’t understand what caused this, but I will initiate an extended and intensive investigation. Nevertheless I will take the full responsibility for this situation and will accept all consequences of it," Paulissen said of his positive test.

Clomiphene is a little used drug, that is mainly used against infertility problems. The extend to which clomiphene works as a performance-enhancing product is questionable.

A statement issued by Cannondale today confirmed that "Cannondale Factory Racing (CFR) has ended its sponsorship of and relationship with Roel Paulissen after Paulissen violated the team's clear anti-doping policies."

Meanwhile, Cannondale General Manager Bob Burkbank said, "We are very disappointed that Paulissen violated Cannondale Factory Racing's anti-doping policies. We believe in a level playing field and support all efforts and agencies working to clean up the sport of cycling."

Dr. De Boer, who was present at the analysis of the B-sample on July 15, has started an investigation into the possible cause of the presence of the product . "The first analysis proved that the found quantities of clomiphene are low," said Dr. De Boer. "It is unlikely that athletes would knowingly use clomiphene, since there is no scientific evidence of performance improvement. The WADA database of positive tests more or less confirms this. It is, however, very likely that male athletes unintentionally and unknowingly take the product as a result of contamination or pollution of a dietary supplement."