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“We didn’t extend his contract beyond 2011. De Martelaere wasn’t with us as a doctor, but as a chemist. He was the man who arranged internal doping controls,” sports director Van der Schueren tells Het Nieuwsblad

Photo: Sirotti

VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM

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20.11.2013 @ 16:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belgian newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad report that Vacansoleil hired a false doctor in 2011. Daniël De Martelaere was part of the team's medical staff for 6 months and was licensed as a team doctor by the Belgian federation but the team insists that he was only working as a chemist.

 

Vacansoleil may have ended its operations at the end of the season but the Dutch team is still able to take headlines in the cycling world. Today Belgian newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad reports that the team hired a false doctor in 2011 when the team rode its first season at WorldTour level.

 

Daniël De Martelaere reportedly presented himself as a doctor who has studied in the USA and was a specialist in endurance coaching. The team hired him from the beginning of the 2011 season and he was licensed by the Belgian federation.

 

In February, the team's new signing Riccardo Ricco was brought to hospital with kidney blockage following a home blood transfusion. The team sent De Martelaere to Italy to make an investigation and write a medical report about the matter.

 

De Marteleare continued his work for the first half of the season but more and more riders started to have concerns about his credentials. When he signed off on blood tests performed at the Tour de Suisse, the laboratory highlighted the fact that they had not been certified by a qualified doctor.

 

Nonetheless, Vacansoleil sports director Hilaire van der Schueren insists that De Martelaere never worked as a doctor.

 

“We didn’t extend his contract beyond 2011," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "De Martelaere wasn’t with us as a doctor, but as a chemist. He was the man who arranged internal doping controls."

 

The police in Ghent is reported to have opened an inquiry into the matter. The Belgian federation which licensed De Martelaere is also highly critical.

 

“We committed an administrative error," spokesman Tom Van Damme told De Standaard. "We should have verified if this man really was a doctor. I deeply regret that Vacansoleil didn’t report anything in 2011. We would have expected more honesty and responsibility from a WorldTour team.”

 

Vacansoleil rode their last race at the Chrono des Nations in late October.

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