Denise Betsema tested positive for an unspecified anabolic steroid at a UCI World Cup event in January 2019.
Denise Betsema, a 26-year old professional cyclist specializing in cyclo-cross for the Marlux-Bingoal Pro Cycling Team, has reportedly tested positive for anabolic steroids. Betsema has been provisionally suspended by cycling’s international governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
Betsema was sanctioned due to an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for an unspecified “endogenoous anabolic androgenic steroids(s) administered exogenously” according to a UCI statement. The steroid positive resulted from a sample collected by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) at the 2019 Grand Prix Adri van der Poel race in Hoogerheide, Netherlands on January 27, 2019.
The 2019 Grand Prix Adri van der Poel was the last race in the nine-race 2018–19 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Championship Series. Betsema placed fifth in Grand Prix Adri van der Poel race. However, Betsema placed fourth in the points total for the overall Word Cup Championship Series.
Denise Betsema strongly denied using anabolic steroids.
Betsema is a rising star in the sport of cyclo-cross. The Dutch rider seemingly came out of nowhere with a breakthrough cyclo-cross season in 2018-2019. She went from 83rd world ranking at the beginning of the season to 3rd by the end.
Betsema suggested that her success was, in no small part, due to the intentional loss of 8 kilograms (18 lbs) of bodyweight. Betsema thanked her fitness professional husband Sjoerd Maarten for helping her with her diet to lose weight.
“I lost weight on purpose, but when you train a bit more, it also gets easier. My husband has worked in fitness for eight years, so he always checks his diet, and he helped me to lose the weight.”
Betsema has vehemently denied using anabolic steroids or any other type of banned performance-enhancing drug according to a statement posted to her Instagram account @deniesoverseas in Dutch. She does not know why or how she tested positive but is currently trying to find out how this could have happened.
Marlux-Bingoal signed Betsema to a professional cycling contract after she won her very first World Cup event at the 2018 Duinencross Koksijde race on November 25, 2018. Marlux-Bingoal extended her pro contract until the end of 2023 after she won the Superprestige on Febrary 16, 2019.
Marlux-Bingoal has not made any comment on the status of Betsema’s contract following the provisional doping suspension.
Cyclocross Magazine. (April 5, 2019). Denise Betsema Tests Positive for Banned Substance. Retrieved from cxmagazine.com/denise-betsema-cyclocross-test-positive-banned-substance-steroids