Kacper Szczepaniak, the young Polish rider who placed second in the U23 World Championships in Tabor and subsequently tested positive for EPO, tried to kill himself. His brother Pawel, who won the event and also tested positive for EPO, confirmed the news and reported to Belgian publication Het Laatste Nieuws that it was their father who intervened.
Hans Van Kasteren, the manager of the Telenet-Fidea squad for which Kasper rides, claims to have two sources that point at the brothers’ Polish coach for encouraging them to dope. “We never approve of doping, but can understand how the boys were tempted,” Van Kasteren told Het Laatste Nieuws. “Their father earns just 250 euros per month, while Kacper with a world-caliber team could easily clear 2500 euros.”
The Szczepaniak brothers dominated the U23 World Championship race, in Tabor, Czech Republic, with Pawel (20) claiming the title in front of Kacper (19). Frenchman Arnaud Jouffroy finished third, with Belgian Tom Meeusen in fourth. Last week, the UCI released positive doping results for EPO for both brothers. Pending the results of their B samples, the brothers will be stripped of their results and face suspensions and disciplinary action.