Sanne Cant’s successful defence of her Cyclocross World Championship title had a slightly unsavoury ending after her brother, mechanic and team manager were reportedly involved in a scuffle with security staff at the World Championships while trying to congratulate her on her win.
Kevin Cant and mechanic Dieter Clerx were apparently trying to reach Cant to congratulate her following her victory, but were stopped by security staff for not having the correct accreditation to enter the area behind the podium.
As reported by Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad a scuffle then ensued between Cant, Clerx and security staff, with the intervention of Corendon-Circus team managers Philip and Christoph Roodhooft apparently not helping the situation.
“I was on my way to the podium and was talking with [Belgian cycling federation president] Tom Van Damme when I heard the commotion,” said Philip Roodhooft.
“When I started mediating the situation degenerated, it was very aggressive. Kevin and Dieter were not led away, but literally dragged on the ground. Even national team coach Sven Vanthourenhout and Peter Vandenabeele of the UCI were treated badly.”
Roodhooft was taken to a police station in Maastricht after the incident, where he gave a statement. The police then decided to take no further action, reportedly apologising to Roodhooft and even offering to give him a lift back to his hotel.
Roodhooft appeared with a black eye and a cut lip as he spoke to media on Sunday, saying that he would file a complaint over his treatment by security staff.
Koen Monu, a member of the World Championship organising committee in Valkenburg, told Belgian broadcaster Sporza that he had no reason not to believe Roodhooft’s version of events.
“I was not there at the beginning, but I found it very serious that Philip Roodhooft and his wife were beaten and taken to the police station. They are now back at their hotel, but Philip’s bloody lip speaks volumes,” Monu said.
“I am a part of the organization and I have explained that I cannot believe Philip or Christoph were aggressive after seeing their world champion on the podium.”