Belgian cyclo-cross rider Tom Meeusen has been cleared over allegations of doping after a long-running investigation by the Belgian Cycling Federation.
According to Sporza, the 26-year-old rider, who was embroiled in the Federation’s investigation into alleged ozone doctor Chris Mertens, was acquitted due to lack of evidence that he had used performance enhancing substances cortisone and vaminolact.
Meeusen faced a two-year ban and a fine of €28,550, as well as the voiding of his 2012 results if he was found guilty of doping by the Federation’s committee.
The Telenet Fidea rider was originally forbidden to appear at the 2015 cross world championships in the Czech Republic in January by the Federation due to the ongoing investigation, along with other riders Laurens Sweeck and Bart Wellens. But Meeusen successfully appealed the exclusion and has now subsequently been cleared after almost three years of suspicion.
Meeusen wasn’t present when it was revealed he would be cleared, but tweeted later on on Tuesday his joy at the announcement.
Greg van Avermaet (BMC) is now the next high-profile rider to wait on a decision by the Belgian Federation, after he too was linked to Dr Martens. Prosecutors requested a two-year ban and a fine of €262,500 at a hearing earlier in April, with a final decision expected on the Classics specialist’s fate on May 7.