According to the paper, a package containing "thousands of dollars of cutting-edge superdoping was bought in Australia" and subsequently intercepted by Belgian customs agents two weeks ago at Zaventem airport just outside Brussels, but was not made public until yesterday. Vansevenent, aged 39, due to depart for the Tour de France where he was to drive one of the Omega-Pharma Lotto VIP coaches - though he is no longer going, his links to the team will immediately create suspicions that the performance-enhancing drugs contained within the package were destined for them. This, if one discounts the ongoing investigation into Alberto Contador, is the first scandal of this year's Tour which many riders, teams and fans were hoping would remain controversy-free after many years of similar problems. Omega riders - who include Philippe Gilbert, ranked number one in the world by the IG Markets Index - will now face increased tests as UCI anti-doping testers will want to be certain nothing is untoward.
|Wim Vansevenant was Lanterne Rouge a record three times prior to his retirement in 2008|
Omega-Pharma Lotto subsequently denied all links to the parcel and stated that they are "stunned" by the news. "Everybody is very surprised - I'm surprised and have no idea where this came from," said team boss Marc Sergeant. "I saw Vansevenant at the Belgian championships and he acting normally and calmly. I think he himself knew nothing of the matter."