Belgian team confirms young cyclist's death

Frederick Nolf discovered dead at the Tour of Qatar

by Tony Farrelly   February 5, 2009 news

It has been confirmed that 21-year-old Belgian cyclist, Frederiek Nolf, died in his sleep on Wednesday night. Nolf was at the Tour of Qatar riding for his team, Topsport Vlaanderen Mercator. According to team officials he was found dead in his hotel bed.

The cause of death is not yet known. Nolf joined the team two years ago and the Tour of Qatar was his first race of the season. Speaking to the Associated Press, team manager Christophe Sercu was adamant that the rider was drug free – pointing out that every rider on the team was tested every four months for doping.

Nolf had no apparent health problems and his team will be grimly aware that his death in such circumstances will for many be a sad echo of the early days of EPO usage when a number of professional cyclists died in their sleep due to mistakes over the correct dosage.