Belgium probes top anti-doping doctor

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The head of the Belgian Olympic Committee wants his top anti-doping official to resign after a retiring athlete said the doctor had advised him to take illegal products a decade ago.

Dr. Renno Roelandt, who also holds a post at the World Anti-Doping Agency, however, refused to step down as deputy chairman of the committee despite the urging from chairman Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

Instead, the Belgian Olympic committee decided Monday to open an investigation into the allegations from sprinter Erik Wijmeersch that Roelandt advised him in 1998 to take illegal growth hormones.

"It is Dr. Roelandt who is best placed to know what he should do," committee spokesman Luc Rampaer said.

Wijmeersch, a Belgian champion who never broke through at an international level, said he took doping products for three years, until 2001. Roelandt is not accused of providing him with drugs, only giving advice.

Roelandt is a volunteer expert serving on WADA's List Working Committee, which provides recommendations and guidance to WADA on the list of prohibited substances.

"As a matter of fairness for all those involved, WADA will not comment until all facts are known to the agency," WADA spokesman Frederic Donze said. – AP

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