Lotto–Soudal’s Tosh Van der Sande cleared of doping after ‘administrative error’

The Belgian said he was labelled as a doper despite being able to explain the positive test

Tosh Van der Sande has been cleared of any doping offence (Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Lotto–Soudal’s Tosh Van der Sande has been cleared of doping after he returned a positive test at the Ghent Six Day last November.

The UCI has closed its case against the Belgian after he failed a doping test due to an ‘administrative error’.

Van der Sande returned a positive test for a substance that is allowed if he had alerted the authorities he had taken it.

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After the UCI’s decision to drop the case, the 28-year-old said on social media: “I am very happy and relieved to report that I was acquitted by the UCI.

“Yesterday afternoon I received the official message that the UCI will no prosecute the case and officially closed it.

“It’s a shame I had to answer for myself, I was labelled a doper when I only needed to give a statement about why the product was present in my urine – it was purely an administrative mistake.

“I want to focus on the next few weeks and leave this incident completely behind me.”

According to reports, the substance found in the test was prednisolone, a permitted substance found in the nasal spray Sofrasolone.

But a rider must declare they have taken the substance when undergoing a test.

Van der Sande said he mistakenly wrote the wrong substance on the form.

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Lotto–Soudal said: “[The team] was notified by the UCI of their position concerning the control that has been carried out with Tosh Van der Sande during the Six Days of Ghent.

“After consulting the dossier, including the explanatory documents, the UCI decided not to prosecute the rider in this case and consider the case closed.

“The team was notified that the explanation given by the rider was declared admissible and that no disciplinary procedure will be started.

“Tosh Van der Sande will be reintegrated in the team with immediate effect.

“Lotto–Soudal reconfirms its zero tolerance regarding doping-related matters.”

The team announced in December that Van der Sande had been suspended after he failed the test in November.

He will return to racing at the Ruta Del Sol in February.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.