Rising Dutch ‘cross star Betsema fails anti-doping test

Denise Betsema was the breakout star of the last cyclocross season, but she returned an adverse analytical finding in an anti-doping test at a January World Cup.

In late November, 2018, Denise Betsema turned heads by winning a cyclocross World Cup on the hallowed sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium. Now, her breakout season is in question because the UCI announced Friday that she returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) in an anti-doping control performed January 27.

The anti-doping test was performed at the World Cup race in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. According to the UCI statement, her sample indicated the presence of an Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid. She finished seventh in that race.

Up until this past season, Betsema, 26, did not have any UCI wins to her credit.

Over the course of the five-month season stretching from September 2018 to February 2019, she won 15 UCI races, including eight UCI C1 events, the highest classification outside of World Cup races.

Betsema also finished fourth at world championships, was fifth overall in the World Cup, and third overall in the Superprestige series.

The UCI has provisionally suspended Betsema, and she is entitled to have a B sample tested, per World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

In a statement on its website, her Marlux-Bingoal team said that it had contacted Betsema and she had denied any nefarious activities. The team has suspended her while it awaits the results of the B sample test.