SD Worx rider Chantal van den Broek-Blaak allegedly tested positive for banned substance in 2008

Dutch rider reportedly tested positive for diuretic at World University Championships but received no ban

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak
(Image credit: Getty Images)

SD Worx rider Chantal van den Broek-Blaak tested positive for a banned diuretic during the World University Championships in 2008. However, the positive test result was reportedly lost which meant that the Dutchwoman was never sanctioned for it. 

According to a report by Dutch newspaper AD, the Dutch rider returned a positive test for Furosmide, a drug used to treat fluid build-up due to heart, liver and kidney problems, after finishing second amongst an all Dutch top five at the event in Nijmegen 14 years ago. She was never sanctioned or banned for the test result. 

Furosemide is prohibited both in and out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA], and was then too.

Listed as a potential masking agent, meaning that it could be used to hide the presence of other drugs in the body, a potential positive test for the substance now would carry a four-year ban from competition. It can also be used to lose weight. Back in 2008 it carried a regular two-year ban-barring an approved therapeutic use exemption [TUE]. 

What became of the positive test is unknown, although the statute of limitations for any sanctions has now passed meaning that Van den Broek-Blaak cannot now be punished if sufficient evidence was produced. 

According to AD, the status and whereabouts of her test appears to now be a mystery, with neither the UCI or International University Sports Federation [FISU] having any record of the positive test in their organisational archives. 

However, despite no records of the result being found, organiser of the World University Championships Henk Kuiper allegedly told AD that the Dutchwoman would lose the silver medal she achieved that year. 

"My conclusion is that we were right to hand it over to FISU in 2008 and it's extraordinary that only the result of the relevant competition would be deleted," Vincent Egbers, the chair of the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority, told the newspaper.

"It's not easy to check whether the UCI or Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) were informed at the time. It was certainly not the custom at the time.

"The procedure has now been amended and stricter rules now apply – the association and international federation are now informed by us and we follow positive cases closely."

At the time Van den Broek-Blaak was racing for the now-defunct AA Drink team and told AD that she did not want to discuss a case that happened 14 years ago. 

"I don't want to discuss a case that happened 14 years ago which had nothing to do with doping. I want to emphasise again that I have never used doping during my career, and that I can look at myself in the mirror," she said.

She added that after allegedly explaining her circumstances to authorities at the time, they decided not to sanction her. 

Meanwhile van den Broek-Blaak’s current team SD Worx told Cyclingnews that they were “never aware” of the incident from 2008. 

"Team SD Worx has talked with its cyclist Chantal van den Broek-Blaak about the incident concerning a positive test on the drug Furosemide in 2008. This incident happened seven years before she started riding for our team. The team was never aware of this incident,” the team said. 

"Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has stated to the team that this case has nothing to do with doping. She explained her story to the parties and authorities involved at the time. They subsequently decided not to suspend her. Furthermore, the rider emphasised to the team that she has never used doping throughout her career.

"Within the team, there is an absolute zero tolerance towards the use of doping and banned substances. There have never been any cases of doping within the team since the founding of the team."

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.