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by Shane Stokes
December 16, 2017
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Two days after the LottoNL-Jumbo team stated that it had sent three riders home from its training camp in Girona, namely Juan-José Lobato, Antwan Tolhoek and Pascal Eenkhoorn, more details have emerged about the seriousness of the matter.
On Wednesday evening the squad said that the trio ‘had used or were in possession of (non-doping-related) sleep medication that was not provided by or used in the team,’ and described that as ‘a serious violation of the strict regulations of the cycling team.’ It said that the team management had ‘expelled the three riders indefinitely.’
Now, according to NOS, the incident started when 20-year-old Eenkhoorn was encountered in the hallway of the hotel by the team management, and found to be confused and acting strangely. Tolhoek was subsequently found to be in the same state. However Lobato was more serious; according to directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman, he was found asleep and initially could not be wakened.
The panicked team leaders shook him more and more vigorously, but he remained unconscious. The team doctor decided medical assistance was needed and an ambulance came to the hotel. Although Lobato then woke up, he was taken to hospital anyway. The other two riders went in the team car. Tolhoek took the least sleeping medication and was soon able to return to the hotel, while the other two came back at five o’clock on Wednesday morning.
Soon afterwards they were sent home from the camp. According to NOS, all options are being considered, including their possible firing. However Zeeman said that they want to try to let the emotions settle before making any final decision. As for team manager Richard Plugge, he declined to comment on the possibility of dismissal.
Click through to read more at NOS.nl.