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by Shane Stokes
December 19, 2017
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Following the use of sleep medications by three LottoNL-Jumbo riders during the team’s training camp this month in Girona, the squad has announced that one will leave and two will be sidelined.
Juan-José Lobato was initially unable to be woken at the camp and had to be sent to hospital over concerns about sleep medicines he and two other riders had taken. The squad announced on Monday that it has ended his contract ‘in mutual consideration.’ The other two – Antwan Tolhoek and Pascal Eenkhoorn – have been handed a two-month internal suspension.
“These two riders are excluded from all team activities, including the team presentation, the training camp and the participation in races,” it said. “Without the knowledge of the team and its medical staff, the trio had used (non-doping related) sleep medication, which was neither provided nor is being prescribed by the team. This is a severe and unacceptable violation of the team regulations.
“In the case of Juan José Lobato, it was decided to end the sporting cooperation in the interest of both the rider and the team. Lobato has had an emotionally eventful year and will have to concentrate on his recovery.”
The team said that all legal and personal aspects were taken into account in arriving at the decisions, as well as what it says was ‘the major impact the incident has had on the team.’ It verified that none of the riders’ actions had violated the rules of either the UCI or WADA. “The team takes responsibility for the health of the riders, and experiments that endanger their health are not accepted. In the context of the talent development policy that Team LottoNL-Jumbo advocates, the team has reached out to Tolhoek and Eenkhoorn to provide them a continuing opportunity to develop into exemplary professional cyclists.”