Bart Welllens' condition is improving, but the Belgian cyclo-cross rider will remain in intensive care. His personal doctor has said the heart and kidney problems were caused by an infection and are in no way doping-related.
Wellens was hospitalised over the weekend with a high fever. It was discovered that his heart was operating at only 10 per cent capacity and that he was suffering from kidney and liver failure.
A cardiogram on Monday showed that his heart performance is improving. “The heart recovers fine,” his personal physician Peter T. Seyen said on the website of Wellens' team, Telenet Fidea. “Everything is running smoothly, but caution says that Bart should still provisionally stay in intensive care.”
He also said that the heart muscle inflammation was clearly due to a bacterial viral infection, denying that doping played a role. “This allows us to now say with confidence that it is absolutely impossible that bad things have happened here, as has unfortunately been suggested. There is no indication so we strongly refute it. A virus is the cause of all misery.”
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