Toon Aerts, who tested positive for Letrozole last year, has immediately reacted to the news that Shari Bossuyt has tested for the same substance. The cyclocross rider shared an update and his thoughts on what he believes is an unfair situation.
“Actually, I knew this was going to happen and warned about it in my own announcement. If this could happen to me, anyone can," Aerts said in a long message shared on Twitter. "I have never taken any risks with medication and supplements. And yet I get involved in a doping file… With this knowledge, I had to wait for the next victim. We are one year later. I'm still deep in the misery and there's the next case. I can well imagine what Shari is going through right now."
Canyon//SRAM's Shari Bossuyt tests positive for Letrozole, same substance which saw Toon Aerts suspended
At the end of the 2021-2022 season Aerts tested positive for the substance and has been given two years of suspension. Throughout many months he attempted to prove his innocence but without success. Letrozole is a substance which blocks production of estrogen, hence boosting natural testosterone levels, and at the time being it is not known how it can be contaminated.
"This shouldn't be happening! Another athlete, a human being, who will go through a deep valley with her whole family. Without having done anything wrong, just like my family and I. My emotions have turned to a kind of anger lately, although I try not to worry too much about it," he continued. "I've done everything I can to prove my innocence, but I'm getting nowhere. The days are ticking away, and every day that passes is a step. The days go slow, too slow. I still have no idea about my future as a rider and a person.”
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The Belgian has since taken up a job as a physical education teacher in Belgium, whilst he continues to ride in order to stay fit, eyeing a return to the sport as soon as possible. “At the moment I find support at the school where I started teaching. Students and colleagues see me as a normal person, not as an athlete in trouble. I hope that Shari will soon find something to hold on to in her life."
"Not two without them is the saying and I fear there will be more victims. It's inevitable that more athletes will see their careers slip through their fingers while working as professionally as I did. I hope that the authorities will face the problem and gather more information about what is happening to us," he concluded.