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Paulissen gets two-year suspension

Roel Paulissen (Belgium)

Roel Paulissen (Belgium) (Image credit: Didier Weemaels)

The Belgian cycling federation issued a two-year ban for Roel Paulissen on Monday. The mountain biker tested positive for a female hormone, clomiphene, twice this summer.

Although he denied having used the hormone, which is normally used to stimulate female ovulation, but can also increase testosterone levels in males, he has since decided to hang up his bike and did not attend the federation's final hearing on November 22.

Paulissen blamed the positive test result on a tainted supplement, and his lawyer argued that the amount of the hormone found in his samples was not performance-enhancing. Still, he received the maximum sentence as well as a fine of 7,500 euros. Two weeks ago, the federal prosecutor had demanded a fine of 87,500 euros.

"I've always held hope for a positive outcome," said Paulissen after receiving the ban. "Given the facts and arguments during the course of the procedure, my faith in a favorable decision had only increased. This is a great disappointment to me. Tomorrow, I will carefully examine the statement together with the people who help me, but this is certainly very disappointing. "

Paulissen also questioned the judicial process. "It's very frustrating when you determine that nothing was done with the information supplied. It had a number of arguments (specifics about the detected substance, statements of both the expert Drs. Douwe de Boer and Jan Mathieu and no prior history of doping), but they were only reflected in the reduction of the fine and not in determining the duration of the suspension."

Paulissen, 34, won two marathon world championship titles, 2008 in Villabassa and 2009 in Graz, as well as several rounds of both the cross country and marathon World Cups. 

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