The case concerning Toon Aerts is still ongoing and the UCI does not usually comment on pending cases.
However, in view of inaccurate and/or incomplete information that has been made public concerning these proceedings, the UCI wishes to clarify the following:
On 14 February 2022, Toon Aerts was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for Letrozole Metabolite (Bis-4-cyano-phenyl-methanol) in a sample collected during an out-of-competition control held on 19 January 2022 (the UCI issued a statement in this respect on 16 February 2022: UCI statement concerning Toon Aerts | UCI)
Letrozole and its metabolites are qualified as Specified Substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. In such cases there is no mandatory provisional suspension required and Mr. Aerts was not provisionally suspended by the UCI. Any rider may, however, decide to accept a provisional suspension and refrain from participating in competitions on a voluntary basis.
Status of the proceedings:
In accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations, the UCI afforded Mr Aerts the opportunity to provide his explanations for the AAF. Mr. Aerts elected to do so, and during that process he made several requests which he deemed necessary to support his explanations. The UCI respected Mr Aerts’ procedural rights at all times, and assisted him with all relevant enquiries with third parties.
The next steps in the proceedings are as follows:
- Mr Aerts will provide his final explanations for the AAF;
- the UCI will review such explanations (including any supporting evidence) and, if relevant, may propose an Acceptance of Consequences as provided under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules;
- should Mr Aerts refuse any proposed Acceptance of Consequences, the case will be referred to the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal.
At this stage, the UCI cannot give an indication of timing for the finalisation of Mr Aerts’ proceedings. The UCI will continue to respect Mr. Aerts’ right to present his case and will proceed as expeditiously as possible as soon as it receives Mr. Aerts’ final position.