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Cyclocross

UCI says it has not suspended Toon Aerts after fan protests at Koppenbergcross

The former European cyclocross champion hasn't raced since February after returning a positive test for a breast cancer treatment drug.

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Former European cyclocross champion Toon Aerts has not been suspended from racing following his positive test, the UCI has said, after protests in support of the rider at Tuesday’s Koppenbergcross.

Fans of the rider came to the Koppenbergcross, which Aerts won in 2018, to show support for him.

Slogans included on some of the banners were “without Toon, it’s not fair,” “UCI wake up, show character,” and “allow Toon back into the field.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, the UCI said it was not preventing Aerts from racing and that it was a personal decision by the Belgian rider.

Also read: Toon Aerts maintains innocence over doping control positive

“Letrozole and its metabolites are qualified as Specified Substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. In such cases, there is no mandatory provisional suspension required and Mr. Aerts was not provisionally suspended by the UCI. Any rider may, however, decide to accept a provisional suspension and refrain from participating in competitions on a voluntary basis,” the UCI said.

Big banner says "Let Toon at the start and he can quickly go to the hairdresser" referencing his growing hair since he stopped racing
Big banner says “Let Toon at the start and he can quickly go to the hairdresser” referencing his growing hair since he stopped racing (Photo: David Pintens/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty)

Aerts has not raced since competing in Brussels on February 13, a day before he received notification for a positive test for Letrozole following an out-of-competition doping control on January 19.

He decided to end his season early in order to contest the findings and requested testing of his B sample, which also proved positive for the drug.

The UCI said it had “afforded Mr Aerts the opportunity to provide his explanations” for the positive test and that Aerts was being allowed time to do so. Once Aerts has officially submitted his reasoning, the UCI’s Anti-Doping Tribunal will make a call on whether to suspend him or not.

It added that there was no timeframe for the final decision being made.