Following this week's announcement by LottoNl-Jumbo that three riders were dismissed from the team camp for taking sleep aids outside of the medical advice of the team doctors, it has emerged that the team hospitalized Antwan Tolhoek, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Juan José Lobato before sending them packing.
Nos.nl reported on Friday that the first hint that something was amiss came when Eenkhoorn came into the hotel lobby and was acting strangely.
It soon emerged that Eenkhoorn, Tolhoek and Lobato had taken a sleep aid that was not approved by the team, in violation of their team policy.
Directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman visited Tolhoek, and found him confused but otherwise OK. Lobato's condition alarmed them, however.
"We saw that he was asleep. We tried to wake him up, but that didn't work," Zeeman told Nos.nl. He and team manager Richard Plugge tried waking Lobato, but could not.
They then consulted the team doctors, who advised them to call an ambulance. By the time it arrived, Lobato had woken up and walked into the ambulance. Zeeman drove Tolhoek and Eenkhoorn to the hospital.
The team refused to say what substance the riders had taken, only that it was not a banned substance. The bottle, according to Zeeman, was a liquid with a dropper. While Tolhoek was examined and released, having taken the least amount, the other two riders spent the night at the hospital before returning the hotel.
In the morning, the team sent all three riders home. They now face a tough decision whether to dismiss them for good.
"We put all the facts together. We now consciously take a distance, so that we can separate the ratio of emotion. On Wednesday we had a meeting with the whole team and everyone has taken away from what happened. The riders are really angry at these three and what they have done."
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