It seems a bit strange that this story won’t go away, it’s certainly tainted the career and acheivements of Belgian hero and the ‘Lion of Flanders’ Johan Museeuw, who was world champion in 1996 and retired in 2004, Museeuw won 11 Classics during his professional career. Former Cross star Mario De Clerq has also been charged with similar offences.
In 2003 police searched 20 homes, including Museeuw’s, in a case involving vet Jose Landuyt, who admitted selling performance-enhancing drugs. Tapes of phone conversations and similar evidence have been collected. Last year Museeuw was given a two-year ban by the Belgian cycling federation for being implicated in the doping affair even though the 38-year-old had already retired from the sport.
According to the BBC website:
“It concerns breaches of the drugs legislation – it’s about Aranesp,” public prosecutor’s spokesman Tom Janssen told Belgian radio station VRT.
Aranesp is used for kidney diseases and to help with chemotherapy, and boosts the production of red blood cells. Belgian papers Het Laatste Nieuws and La Derniere Heure listed charges against three-time world cyclo-cross champion De Clercq and Museeuw.
“They are being called to appear in front of a grand jury which will rule on whether there is enough evidence to refer them to a criminal court,” said Janssen.