By Agence France Presse
Troubled Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke is set to be quizzed by the Ypres justice department in the coming days over whether he bought cocaine. If found guilty it can carry a
The 33-year-old looked set for a glorious career when he won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in 1999, but has been plagued by problems ever since including a ban for doping in 2002. His toubles reached its nadir when he tried to commit suicide in June 2007.
However Wednesday’s edition of Flemish daily Het Laatste Nieuws revealed that several sources from within the judiciary and police had told them Vandenbroucke had bought cocaine for his personal use from a dealer in Wielsbeke, to the north of the country, in late February.
The Ypres tribunal will hear him first as a witness. The rider, who has been suspended by his Mitsubishi team — who he had signed with at the beginning of the season — until the matter is resolved, was due to return from a training camp in Italy on Wednesday.
Vandenbroucke, who has been described as a cocaine addict by his ex-wife Sara Pinacci, has been declared ‘persona non grata’ in March by the world governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) and been barred from the elite ProTour races this term.
This decision had apparently ‘destroyed Vandenbroucke’s morale’ according to his agent.