Cycling - Leukemans cleared over failed dope test

Vacansoleil-DCM's Bjorn Leukemans has been cleared after failing a doping test in 2007.

According to reports in Belgium, the Flemish Sports Council has finally ruled that he was unjustly penalised at the time, when he was handed a two-year ban from racing.

“It’s ended well, all well,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. “It is a great load off my mind. It was a hassle in previous years, but now I’m totally cleared.”

Leukemans tested positive for synthetic testosterone in an out-of-competition test in September 2007 and was initially suspended for two years.

That was later reduced to six months, but he was still sacked by his then team Silence-Lotto and did not race at all in 2008. He eventually returned to the saddle the following year with Vacansoleil.

The 35-year-old had medical documentation proving that he has a naturally high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone dating back to 2001, but that was dismissed five years ago.

Leukemans later claimed a drug prescribed by his team doctor, which contained the forbidden hormone DHEA, was to blame for the failed test. The doctor himself admitted he had made a mistake, but again the authorities did not listen and he still had to serve his ban.

Leukemans won the Druivenkoers Overijse this year.