Belgian national coach under investigation

Belgian cycling was reeling on Saturday after the Belga news agency reported that Jose De Cauwer, the national coach for the professional team, was under investigation for supplying doping products. According to the report, police discovered syringes at his house and he is under investigation for breaking the law regarding the taking of growth hormones, a charge which De Cauwer denies. However, Laurent De Backer, president of the Belgian Cycling Federation, hinted that De Cauwer would be fired if the case was proved against him. "If it is proved he broke the law my organization will meet

By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP

Belgian cycling was reeling on Saturday after the Belga news agency reported that Jose De Cauwer, the national coach for the professional team, was under investigation for supplying doping products.

According to the report, police discovered syringes at his house and he is under investigation for breaking the law regarding the taking of growth hormones, a charge which De Cauwer denies.

However, Laurent De Backer, president of the Belgian Cycling Federation, hinted that De Cauwer would be fired if the case was proved against him.

“If it is proved he broke the law my organization will meet on Monday or Wednesday and take the requisite measures,” he said.

De Backer admitted that it was a serious blow to Belgian cycling whatever the outcome of the investigation. “Even if this inquiry comes to nothing it is not good for the image of the Federation and for Belgian cycling in general,” he said. “But if this is true it is a good thing that it was uncovered,” he added.

De Backer revealed that De Cauwer had informed him about the investigation.

“He explained to me that his house had been searched last week and the investigators had taken away a product which is not on the banned list and dates back to 1993,” he said.

Copyright 2001 AFP