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Paris - Nice: Riders demand respect after doping test Van Impe at Belgian crematorium

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16.03.2008/ Todays seventh and final stage of Paris - Nice started with a delay after all riders protested against a doping test of Quickstep rider Kevin van Impe at a crematorium in Lochristi (Belgium). Vam Impe was at the crematorium to make arrangements for the funeral of his son this week. Van Impe's son was born prematurely and died shortly after birth.

© Sirotti
Rebellin was one of the riders at the podium this morning... ( Sirotti)

Race leader Davide Rebellin Gerolsteiner), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) and Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) were leading the protest aginst the "inhuman" treatment of Kevin van Impe (Quickstep).

A few days ago Van Impe was tested by Belgian anti-doping authorities during a meeting with a mortician to make arrangments for the funeral of his son, who died earlier this week. The test took place at the crematorium.

Philippe Gilbert said for the start of todays stage: "We are not against controls, but we do want some respect."

Gilbert continued by saying: "Limits were exceeded here. We support van Impe and we will show that by starting a little bit later."

Gilbert concluded his speech on the start podium of todays final stage: "We demand that this won't happen again."

The Belgian union for athletes, sporta wrote an angry letter to Flemish minister for sports, Bert Anciaux  about the incident.

Anciaux told sporza.be: "The law is the law. but it should still be human." The Flemish minister wants to install a hotline now. Doping testers can call the hotline in case of unexpected circumstances and ask their superior what they should do.

Join our forum and discuss the doping test of Kevin van Impe

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