Wim Vansevenant will not be driving VIP guests for team Omega Pharma-Lotto at the Tour de France, the team has announced. In light of an investigation into charges that the former rider imported illegal doping products, the team has cut its ties to him.
In a statement on the team's website, general manager Geert Coeman said that he and the team were “surprised by the news” about Vansevenant, who rode for the team from 2003 until his retirement in 2008.
However, Coeman denied that Vansevenant had any contact with the riders, saying he “was only sporadically a VIP escort. In the upcoming Tour de France, he would have worked one week. As a VIP escort, he had no contacts with the riders or team. The VIP escort does not stay in the riders' hotel.”
He concluded, “It goes without saying that a stop has been put to all cooperation with him."
Team manager Marc Sergeant echoed Coeman's remarks, telling Het Nieuwsblad, "He didn't have a lot of contact with our riders. He told me himself that he barely knows the guys on the team.”
Sergeant added that he was "as good as certain" that the products are not intended for his team.
It was announced Wednesday morning that Vansevenant was being investigated after receiving a package from Australia said to contain “ultra-modern doping products”.
The retired rider denied the charges, saying he had ordered the TB-500 for himself, since he “felt old and tired,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
Vansevenant was interrogated for four hours on Tuesday, leaving him feeling “defeated, shattered.” He vehemently denied that the products were intended for the Omega Pharma-Lotto team.