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Steegmans skips Belgian Nationals

Gert Steegmans (Katusha)

Gert Steegmans (Katusha) (Image credit: Bert Geerts)

Gert Steegmans was absent for the Belgian national championship road race on Sunday despite being able to race. His team Katusha has placed him on inactive status for refusing to sign an anti-doping agreement.

 "Until Wednesday I was really planning to start, but it was all too complex," Steegmans told sporza.be. "There was an option to ride independently, but I was advised not to take the risk and to avoid problems."

The Russian ProTour team requires he signs its anti-doping clause. One of its requirements is that a rider found positive for a banned drug must pay back up to five times his annual salary.

Katusha left Steegmans off the Tour de France team as a result.

"I'm quite concerned. I hope that I can soon ride again for Katusha. I am still planning to fulfil my contract."

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) said last week that Katusha's clause is "not permissible" according to International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations. (SW)

 

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