Bad news for Dekker is great news for Wegelius

The Dutchman Thomas Dekker has been caught using EPO. Dekker had been selected by Silence-Lotto to ride the Tour de France. He is replaced by Briton Charles Wegelius the Belgian ProTour team has reported.

Dekker was informed this morning that a urine sample from an unannounced inspection on December 24, 2007  had tested positive for epo. Dekker at that time rode for the Dutch team Rabobank. The original result of the test in December 2007 was negative.

Because Dekker’s blood values in controls during 2008 seemed suspicious  the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) re-tested the urine from December 2007 in May this year using new improved methods. The results showed EPO. Dekker was given the news on the day he planned to travel to Monaco for  Saturday’s start in the Tour.

“I am extremely disappointed,” said team manager Marc Sergeant. “This happened when Dekker rode in the service of Rabobank, but the news is no less hard. I have him on a non-active and Charles Wegelius has been called to Monaco.”

Last year, Dekker at the last moment missed the Tour. Rabobank justified his non selection with the fact that Dekker had lost form. Only after the Tour de France was it announced that suspected blood was found. Rabobank denied then that was the reason was that Dekker was taken home.

Dekker hoped his career with Silence-Lotto would have a new impetus. In the last Tour of Switzerland he showed something of his old class. He finished third in the time trial. His good performance in Switzerland earned him a place in the Tour team Silence-Lotto.

Last Sunday in the battle for the Dutch road title Dekker packed. He was hit by  food poisoning. During the race he vomiting several times.

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