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Van Avermaet Cleared by Belgian Federation

No evidence that BMC rider took banned substances in violation of law

Kristof Van Accom/Getty Images

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet has been cleared of all charges by the Belgian cycling federation's disciplinary committee after a finding that there was no evidence to show a violation. The charges that Van Avermaet used cortisone and vaminolact, banned substances, in 2012 were sufficiently deflected by his defense team, which convinced the panel that he only used cortisone once under a prescription for a heel problem, and never purchased the vaminolact that had been prescribed to him.

This clears Van Avermaet to continue riding, and also to maintain his results from 2012, which include podium places in the Quebec and Montreal GPs and several other top results. The UCI could still appeal and throw his status back into doubt, but for now the BMC classics man feels vindicated in advance of the Tour de France and his remaining goals later in the season.

The bigger implication of the case had to do with Van Avermaet's name appearing in the files of Dr. Chris Maertens, the alleged "ozone doctor," but without any specific allegations going against him, Van Avermaet is free to ride. Not surprisingly, his team -- which had allowed him to race while under investigation, essentially betting on acquittal -- hailed the decision. "We never doubted Greg's innocence," BMC chief Jim Ochowicz said. "We are pleased with the decision."