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Lotto Soudal's Van der Sande acquitted of positive drug test following 'administrative error'

Belgian rider cleared by the UCI and reintegrated back into Lotto-Soudal team

Joe Robinson
24 Jan 2019

Lotto Soudal's Tosh Van der Sande has been cleared of a positive drug test at the Six Days of Gent with the UCI citing an 'administrative error' for the incorrect findings.

The governing body announced the case closed allowing the Belgian to return to riding with immediate effect. The 28-year-old has also been reintegrated with the team following his immediate suspension after the incorrect test.

In a statement Van der Sande's team commented that 'After consulting the dossier, including the explanatory documents, the UCI decided not to prosecute the rider in this case and to consider the case closed.

'The team was notified that the explanation given by the rider was declared admissible and that no disciplinary procedure will be started.'

Van der Sande's positive drug test came at the recent Six Days of Gent race for a substance that is permitted if declared before testing. At the time, the rider claimed he had written the wrong substance on the testing form which may have contributed to the UCI's reversal.

Either way, the Belgian took to social media to express his relief. 'I am very happy and relieved to report that I was acquitted by the UCI. Yesterday afternoon I received the official message that the UCI will no prosecute the case and officially closed it,' Van der Sande wrote.

'It’s a shame I had to answer for myself, I was labelled a doper when I only needed to give a statement about why the product was present in my urine – it was purely an administrative mistake. I want to focus on the next few weeks and leave this incident completely behind me.'

Van der Sande has raced his entire professional career with Lotto Soudal after joining the WorldTour team in 2012.

In his time with the team, the Belgian has raced six Grand Tours including last season's Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. He will now resume his 2019 season at the Ruta del Sol. 

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