A Lotto Dstny Development Team sports director has been suspended after driving into a marshal at a Belgian race.
Carl Roes was filmed driving into a marshal during the GP Rik Van Looy on Sunday, and as a result, has been put on leave by the team while an investigation is performed.
According to the Belgian squad, Roes was not allowed to drive onto the course of the race, and was being stopped by the marshal, but drove onto it anyway, hitting the man in the process.
The incident was shown in footage by Belgian broadcaster RTV, as can be seen below. The Lotto Dstny car is seen to clip the marshal as it forces its way onto the course, and continued on its course with the man on the ground.
A statement from the team said: "He was not allowed to enter the course, but he tried to do so and hit the signalman. The man fell on the ground, the sports director continued his race."
The race was won by Rasmus Bøgh Wallin of Restaurant Suri-Carl Ras, with Gianluca Pollefliet in second. However, this result was "overshadowed" by Roes hitting the marshal with his car, as the Lotto statement acknowledged.
Roes has reached out to the marshal to apologise, according to Lotto, and an investigation by the organisation is underway. Belgian media reported that it is unknown whether the man suffered any injuries.
A police investigation is also underway, Het Nieuwsblad reported. “We have also received the images and an investigation has been started,” a spokesperson for the local Neteland police said.
“This is a very unfortunate and unacceptable incident,” Lotto Dstny's CEO Stéphane Heulot said in a statement. “As soon as we heard this news we have put the sports director on leave. There is no excuse for such behaviour, it simply should not happen in a race. We would also like to express our apologies to the signalman and the organisation.”
"Carl realises he has made a mistake," Heulot continued. “He already spoke to the signalman and apologised. We take this matter very seriously and are doing all the necessary things to investigate this further. Until then, Carl is put on leave."
It is not the first time a Lotto Dstny coach has been in the news for the wrong reasons this year. Last month, it was announced that Allan Davis was no longer employed by Lotto Dstny after he had sent unwanted direct messages to a woman on Twitter. The Australian had previously been withdrawn from the team at the Tour de France due to his actions.
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