Kevin de Weert And Greg Van Avermaet Plead Innocence

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) has been asked by the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB-RLVB) to appear before the Disciplinary Commission on March 13 to answer questions in relation to the investigation into Doctor Chris Mertens, along with cyclo-cross stars Bart Wellens and Tom Meeusen.

Van Avermaet pleaded innocence and said he was a patient with Doctor Mertens and he is going to explain himself to the federation, why he was there. The Belgian professional road bicycle racer, currently riding for UCI ProTeam BMC Racing Team, said he doesn’t have anything to blame myself for and he is going to give his explanation and then all will be behind him.

The Belgian cyclist came very close to winning the World Tour race Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2012 and went on to win the Flandrian of the Year award in 2013 because of his consistency in high profile races along with Chris Froome. Van Avermaet won the Flandrian of the year for the second season in a row after he won the GP Impanis-Van Petegem in 2014.

In a press release, BMC Racing Team said it is aware that Van Avermaet was treated by Dr. Mertens, but is unaware of any treatments that would be in violation of any rules. The team added no decision based on the information available to the team at the present time has been made to remove Van Avermaet from active status. It was added the team will continue its investigation and will evaluate new information at such time as it becomes available and added the team will not comment further on the matter at the present time out of respect for Van Avermaet.

Dr Chris Mertens is under investigation for providing ozone treatment to athletes. It is claimed that Mertens allegedly doped blood of athletes with ozone by drawing blood and then enriched it with ozone and transfusing it back into their bodies. Mertens is also accused of encouraging athletes to dope. The Belgian Cycling Federation is investigating Mertens and a list of 19 athletes potentially treated with ozone therapy. Mertens is also accused of prescribing Vaminolact injection. The infant medication is not illegal itself but administering it with an infusion breaks the no-needle policy of the world governing body of cycling, the UCI. The list of athletes reportedly includes prominent Belgian cycling and cyclo-cross riders, including the likes of Tom Meeusen.

In another development, Kevin de Weert said he is not under investigation in the Mertens trial. The Belgian professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam Omega Pharma-Quick Step said he was a patient at doctor Mertens’ practice for a short period of time in 2012, which is close to his home. The cyclist added he received a court letter at the end of 2013 with the request to voluntarily provide them with DNA material as they wanted to close the case and remarked he voluntarily gave samples of his DNA to them in the beginning of 2014. Kevin de Weert also added he does not have to justify himself at the court or his sports federation, because he never received any summons for hearing.

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