UCI says it has not suspended Toon Aerts after fan protests at Koppenbergcross

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Former European cyclo-cross champion Toon Aerts has not been suspended from racing after testing positive, the UCI said after protests in support of the rider at Koppenbergcross on Tuesday.

The cyclist’s fans flocked to the Koppenbergcross, which Aerts won in 2018, to support him.

Slogans were included on some of the banners: “It’s not fair without Toon”, “ICU wake up, show character”, and “Let Toon go back to the field”.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the UCI said it was not preventing Aerts from competing and that it was the Belgian rider’s personal decision.

Also read: Toon Aerts maintains his innocence in positive doping control

“Letrozole and its metabolites qualify as Specified Substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. In such cases, no mandatory provisional suspension is required and Mr. Aerts has not been provisionally suspended by the UCI. However, any rider may choose to accept a provisional suspension and voluntarily refrain from competing,” the UCI said.

The large banner reads “Leave Toon at first and he can go to the hairdresser quickly” and references his hair growth since he stopped running (Photo: David Pintens/Belgian Mag/AFP via Getty)

Aerts has not raced since competing in Brussels on February 13, a day before he was notified of a positive test for letrozole following an out-of-competition doping control on January 19.

He decided to end his season early to contest the results and requested a test of his B-sample, which also came back positive for the drug.

The UCI said it had “given Mr. Aerts an opportunity to explain” about the positive test and that Aerts would be given time to do so. Once Aerts has formally presented his justification, the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal will decide whether or not he is suspended.

He added that there was no deadline for the final decision.

Source: www.velonews.com

Author: Angad Kumar Sharma

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