Toon Aerts, the former Belgian champion in cyclocross, has seen a turnaround in his career with a new contract at the Deschacht – Hens – Maes team. This two-year agreement will commence from 16th February 2024, coinciding with the end of his doping suspension.
Two years ago, Aerts faced a career setback when he tested positive for the banned substance Letrozole Metabolite. This discovery led to his immediate suspension by his then-team, Baloise Trek Lions. Aerts had hoped for an acquittal, arguing that the trace amounts found in his system could not conclusively indicate intentional doping – a stance later acknowledged by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Despite this, Aerts was handed a two-year suspension, which was upheld on appeal. This ban is set to conclude on 16th February, the day before the Sint-Niklaas cyclocross event. With this new contract, Aerts will have the opportunity to compete in three cyclocross races this winter, including events in Sint-Niklaas, Brussels, and Oostmalle. His contract with Deschacht – Hens – Maes is set to run through the end of the 2025-2026 cyclocross season.