Riis Aware Of Doping, Says Rasmussen

Anti-doping authorities have been told by Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen that Saxo-Tinkoff manager Bjarne Riis knew about widespread doping in his team. The cyclist remarked Riis had full knowledge of the widespread use of doping substances in his cycling team and cited several sources with knowledge of the matter.

The news came as the Saxo-Tinkoff team owner left the Tour de France and denied his exist was linked to a probe by Denmark authorities into the use of doping by cyclists.

Danish newspaper Politiken wrote on its website that it was unlikely Riis would ever face disciplinary action though US cyclist Tyler Hamilton and Joerg Jaksche of Germany have both told Anti-Doping Denmark that Riis knew about the doping practices. Riis won the 1996 Tour de France but admitted that he used erythropoietin to win. Despite his doping admission, his win has not been officially erased from the race’s record books.

Jens Evald, a law professor at Aarhus University, remarked the contents of the testimonies are very interesting, but they are all eight years or more back in time, and the statute of limitations is just eight years.

Rasmussen, the cyclist who was kicked out of the 2007 Tour de France when he was wearing the race leader’s yellow jersey, had admitted on 31 January 2013, of using EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, cortisone, and blood transfusions in the period 1998-2010. At that time, team manager Claus Hembo said we will welcome him back when his sanction is served, but then as a sports director with Christina Watches – Onfone powered by DANA. Hembo added this will be done for a man with a cleaned conscience, and as a man who strongly dissociates himself from doping, and who will forever obligate himself to be of service to the authorities in the front line of the battle against doping. After this, his attempt to increase the €700,000 euro damages awarded to him in 2008 backfired after he lost in his claim for €5 million.

Rasmussen’s most notable victories include four stages of the Tour de France, one stage of the Vuelta a España and a win on the Italian classic Giro dell’Emilia in 2002 besides winning the best climber classification in the 2005 and 2006 Tour de France. Michael Rasmussen is known for peeling off unnecessary stickers from his bike. The Danish cyclist started his career as a mountain biker, and he won the Mountain Bike World Championships in 1999 before becoming a stagiaire with the professional cycling team CSC-Tiscali in 2001. In 2002, he secured a one-year contract and switched from CSC-Tiscali to Rabobank in 2003 following a string of good results in August and September. The Danish cyclist was accused by mountain bike racer Whitney Richards of trying to get him to transport a box in early 2002 on the pretext that it contained his favorite cycling shoes though the box contained packets of Hemopure, a bovine-hemoglobin-based blood substitute that might potentially have been used in a doping program.

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