Belgian racing pigeons, whose champions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are not immune to doping: six of them are being tested positive.
After a working visit at the “The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa”, the Belgian pigeon Federation decided to send twenty samples for control, explain the Flemish daily Het Belang van Limburg and Gazet van Antwerpen.
While testing of the same samples in Belgium did not reveal doping, the South African lab found traces of various banned substances in six of them: Cocaine for one, and pain killer for another.
Carrier pigeons have a long tradition in Belgium. Moreover, within the last years, wealthy Chinese collectors started to buy these birds for ridiculous prices. In may 2013, 310,000 euros was offered for this year’s Belgian pigeon champion.
But this strange doping phenomenon is not really new: In 2003, the former world champion cyclist Johan Museeuw was convicted of using banned substances after an investigation that first suspected a hormone traffic in the agricultural community, horse racing and … pigeons.
Abuses exist where money is!