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Banned in Flanders, Vandenbroucke continues to ride elsewhere

The on-again-in-off-again career of Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke is off again – sort of – after the Flemish Community’s disciplinary commission rejected his appeal of a six-month drugs ban on Tuesday. The suspension, which only applies to events in the north of Belgium, starts on September 1. The ban follows the discovery in a police raid on Vandenbroucke's home in March of quantities of EPO (erythropoietin), clenbuterol (anabolic steroid), morphine, and Nesp, EPO's newly-arrived chemical cousin. According to Vandenbroucke’s agent, Paul de Geyter, said he was disturbed by

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002

The on-again-in-off-again career of Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke is off again – sort of – after the Flemish Community’s disciplinary commission rejected his appeal of a six-month drugs ban on Tuesday.

The suspension, which only applies to events in the north of Belgium, starts on September 1.

The ban follows the discovery in a police raid on Vandenbroucke’s home in March of quantities of EPO (erythropoietin), clenbuterol (anabolic steroid), morphine, and Nesp, EPO’s newly-arrived chemical cousin.

According to Vandenbroucke’s agent, Paul de Geyter, said he was disturbed by the decision, despite its narrow scope.

“The fact that the ban only relates to Flanders changes nothing for me,” he told the French wire service AFP. “It’s the principal that’s wrong and I regret this decision.”

Vandenbroucke’s appeal was based on the fact that he was unable to mount any defense at the Flemish hearing.

Police had turned up at his home with a search warrant after stopping Vandenbroucke’s trainer, Bernard Sainz, in his car with a large quantity of amphetamines and syringes.

In 1999 Vandenbroucke was suspended but later reinstated by his then team Cofidis after being investigated over his association with Sainz in France for an alleged doping affair.

The 27-year-old Belgian, now riding for Domo-Farm Frites, has been in action in a competition in the south of Belgium late last month.