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Stefan van Dijk handed eight-year doping ban

Stefan van Dijk has been handed an eight-year suspension and 10,000 Euro fine for ozone therapy.

Van Dijk, 37, announced this retirement earlier this year, citing a lack of employment opportunities, but the former Accent Jobs – Wanty rider has now been confirmed to have taken ozone therapy during the 2011 season, in which he rode for Verandas Willems. In all, Van Dijk benefited from the illegal doping therapy ten times, and according to Belgian media the former rider had blood extracted and then infused on certain occasions.

“I did not undergo therapy to cycle faster," he told "It was to heal faster. I had it at that time because of mononucleosis. That bothered me fiercely during training."

In 2005, Van Dijk, then riding for, was handed a year-long suspension from Flemish Anti-Doping Commission after missing an out-of-competition drug test at his home on June 8. According to the doping control inspector Hans Cooman, Van Dijk drove away when he saw the Flemish anti-doping bus parked outside his house in Oud-Turnhout. Refusing to take a doping test is treated the same way as testing positive.

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