On Monday, pro cyclist Shari Bossuyt held a press conference with her manager Yannick Prévost to respond to her positive doping test for Letrozole. The Canyon/SRAM rider said that she hopes to soon prove that she is not a cheater.
“I had never even heard of Letrozole. Everything indicates that we are dealing with a contamination,” the current madison world champion said to hln.be. “At the moment, the procedure is still ongoing and I have to go to the AFLD [Agence française de lutte contre le dopage] to explain how the product ended up in my body. This is something that turns out to be extremely difficult since I have never come into contact with Letrozole and have never consciously used it. In fact, this was the first time I had heard of Letrozole. Fortunately, I am currently well-supported. I hope that we will soon be able to clarify matters.”
Will fight for her innocence after Letrozole positive
The 22-year-old cyclist says she is adamant she will be proven to be innocent, despite testing positive on both her A and B samples.
“But above all we want to prove that we are not cheaters. In consultation with the team, I have decided not to race in the coming weeks. It is mainly because my head is not in a good space. Everything indicates that we are dealing with a contamination,” she added. “That is why I would like to call on all authorities that we may be dealing with an underlying problem. I will continue to train so that I can get back into competition soon.”
Victim of larger problem
Bossuyt’s agent calls her “a victim” of a larger problem, similar to what happened to fellow Belgian Toon Aerts. In late 2022, the Belgian cyclocross rider also tested positive for Letrozole and has claimed he never took the substance.
“Because of Toon’s case, we started to delve into the matter and now know that Letrozole is used in animal husbandry to regulate ovulation in cows,” Prévost told hln.be. “This is legal and is not checked by the Belgian food inspectors, because it does not pose any health risks, but it can cause contamination in milk or meat.”