The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has imposed life ban on former Rabobank cycling team doctor and board member Geert Leinders, according to an announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), and Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands (Doping autoriteit).

The Belgian physician was banned for his involvement in supply of performance enhancing drugs to riders. The investigation of Leinders started with the discovery of evidence by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 during the course of its investigation of doping in cycling.

A three-member panel of the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport made the decision to ban Leinders, according to USADA. The panel agreed with the charges that the charges that the alleged doping offenses involved aggravating circumstances to justify a lifetime period of ineligibility. It was found by the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel that the physician administered banned performance enhancing drugs and methods, including EPO, blood transfusion paraphernalia, testosterone, insulin, DHEA, LH, and corticosteroids without any legitimate medical need to athletes under his care.

In a statement, Travis T. Tygart, head of USADA, said it shocks the conscience that a board member and team doctor would abuse his trusted position by overseeing and participating in this type of dangerous and fraudulent activity. Tygart also added that ridding those in the system who attempt to justify doping as a means to an end is the only way to truly clean up cycling for current and future generations of athletes.

Leinders was the team doctor in 2007 with Rabobank when Michael Rasmussen was expelled from the Tour de France for evading doping controls in buildup to the race. In 2009, Geert Leinders left Rabobank and later worked for some riders from Team Sky.

Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD) director Lone Hansen said in a statement that Rasmussen cooperated and testified in the case. Hansen added athlete eyewitness testimony can play an important and powerful role in the investigative process, and in this case, Michael Rasmussen’s cooperation and testimony was integral to the outcome. The ADD Director added this case was an important opportunity for ADD to collaborate with our partners at USADA and Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands to pursue a level playing field in cycling, and we know that continued global collaboration is the only way to provide a level playing field for all athletes in all sports.

Herman Ram, Director of Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands, said this case demonstrates that intelligence gathering and investigations in close cooperation between independent anti-doping organizations can lead to the prosecution and sanctioning of not only athletes but also – and more importantly – of athlete support personnel. The Director of Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands also remarked we appreciate the collaborative work done on this case, and we will continue our efforts to bring to light the full truth about the culture of doping.

The physician is prohibited from training or advising athletes and participating at any event sanctioned by USA Cycling, the International Cycling Union, or any other sports agency that follows the World Anti-Doping Agency codes.

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