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Philippe Gilbert denies reports he used cortisone to enhance performance at Lotto

BRUSSELS (AFP) — World champion Philippe Gilbert has denied taking illicit cortisone treatments while riding for the Lotto squad during 2009-11.

The Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad published the allegation Saturday, citing anonymous former teammates.

Gilbert, who joined BMC Racing Team in 2012, rejected the accusations in a statement to the Belga news agency.

“I did my job seriously and always in the best possible way,” said Gilbert. “Before, during, and after my years at Lotto I won big races, most in similar manner. They even called it typical for me. I would hope that says enough. ”

Cortisone is used to treat inflammation, but can also reduce fatigue. It is prohibited without prescription.

Lotto Belisol doctor Jan Mathieu acknowledged using cortisone spray, but only to treat legitimate injuries.