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Monday 03, Oct 2016

  Doping Progress Hailed By Tour De France Chief

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Christian Prudhomme, the general director of the Tour de France since 2007, has remarked anti-doping measures in the recent past have significantly changed image of cycling. Prudhomme said he believes that doping in cycling is under control and that all the measures that have been taken should be enough.

The Frenchman added cycling is no longer the principal sport to provide news on the use of illegal substances.  Long associated with systematic doping, cycling has been spared such close scrutiny during recent affairs that have plagued athletics, football, and the International Olympic Committee.

Till few years back, cycling was in all kinds of controversies ever since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal broke out. The disgraced cyclist, who was denied doping throughout his illustrious career, finally admitted to making use of banned substances and techniques such as blood doping, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Prudhomme also commented there is no longer a feeling in the sport that change is necessary and said you don’t see champions who come from nowhere any more. The former French journalist the absence of champions coming “out of nowhere” and the believable and mappable progress of young riders has done the job for cycling. Prudhomme said the likes of Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves have a pedigree, they shone on the Tour de l’Avenir and it is reassuring.

The Tour de l’Avenir is the most prestigious under-23 race in the world and both Chaves and Quintana – who have finished on the podiums of the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana over the last few years – performed very well in their youth. The Tour de France chief also commented that the change in communication with the sport has been a huge factor in the progress he has seen. Prudhomme said cycling was seen as a closed sport until recently but it is not anymore and people talk. Prudhomme went on to comment that cycling has been cleaning up its act and added it was not easy but it has been cleaning up its act. He also said we want sport to be perfect, while society will never be and also said society is not full of saints or full of crooks. Prudhomme also said all the cheats and the liars on this earth did not gather up one day to decide they would be taking up cycling.

Prudhomme took charge of the Tour de France by inheriting the mantel of his predecessor, Jean-Marie Leblanc, in 2006, the year of the Operación Puerto doping scandal. Prudhomme has overseen doping scandals in 2007, 2008, and 2010 but admitted revelations about mechanical doping earlier this year was something he was not prepared for. The Frenchman called mechanical doping the “biggest challenge facing cycling.” The Tour de France director said he was scared eight days before the Tour of the rumors would mar the race but was relieved after the secretary of state announced the use of thermal imaging cameras to help locate any motors being used in the peloton.

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Monday 10, Aug 2015

  Doping Claims Are ‘Declaration Of War’ On Athletics, Says IAAF Presidential Candidate

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Sebastian Coe, the IAAF vice-president and presidential candidate in hunt for IAAF Presidency, described claims that the governing body of athletics had failed to respond to widespread blood doping among distance runners as a “declaration of war” on the sport.

Coe, who is hoping to be elected the next president later this month, made a withering attack on allegations made by German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times. It was alleged by the two organizations that the International Association of Athletics Federations sat quietly on suspicious blood tests involving hundreds of athletes between 2001 and 2012. Coe remarked it is a declaration of war on his sport and added he takes pretty grave exception to that. The IAAF Presidential candidate remarked there is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug-testing that warrants this kind of attack and added we should come out fighting. The IAAF Vice-President also remarked nobody should underestimate the anger at the way our sport has been portrayed and added we cannot be portrayed as a sport that is dragging our heels.

The German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times alleged that the results of 12,000 blood tests involving 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012 were examined and 800 were suspicious. It was also alleged that 146 medals – including 55 gold medals – in disciplines ranging from the 800 meters to the marathon at the Olympics and World Championships were won by athletes with suspicious test findings. The findings were made after a whistleblower within the IAAF provided evidence of suspicious test readings.

The IAAF Presidential candidate rubbished the claims of two Australian anti-doping scientists, Robin Parisotto and Michael Ashenden by saying the IAAF has a commission of three independent experts who have tested and checked thousands of blood samples and he knows whom to believe. Coe added the use of this stuff, the sensationalizing; this is absolutely an attempt to destroy the reputation of the athletes and our sport. He also remarked nobody is remotely suggesting that news organizations don’t have the right to question and challenge and kick the tyres and added but this selective use of this so-called information is just wrong and we will not bend a knee to any other sport in the way we’ve led the way on this.

Coe, responding to the latest doping allegations, said the use of that database, however it got into their possession, displayed either breathtaking ignorance or a level of malevolence around a set of readings you simply cannot extrapolate beyond. The IAAF VP added the idea that his sport sat there either covering up wrongdoing or just being incompetent could not be wider of the mark.

In another development, the IAAF quoted its own anti-doping expert, Giuseppe d’Onofrio, who said he ethically deplores public comments coming from colleagues on blood data that has been obtained and processed outside of the strict regulatory framework established by WADA. Giuseppe d’Onofrio also added there is no space for short cuts, simplistic approaches or sensationalism when athletes’ careers and reputations are at stake.

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Monday 29, Jun 2015

  My Credibility Is Not Very High, Says Bjarne Riis

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In an interview with Danish television channel TV2, Bjarne Riis has admitted that he was complicit in the use of doping products at Team CSC when he was the director.

Riis also admitted he blood doped himself during his career and knew that Tyler Hamilton was blood doping with disgraced Spanish doctor Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. The Danish former professional road bicycle racer, who won the 1996 Tour de France, said he is well aware of the fact that his credibility is not very high.

The former cyclist made these remarks after a 97-page Anti-Doping Denmark report concluded that Bjarne Riis, former Riis Cycling managing director Alex Pedersen, directeur sportif Johnny Weltz (now a directeur sportif at Cannondale-Garmin), and many Danish former riders all violated anti-doping rules. None of them will however face disciplinary action due to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s eight-year statute of limitation rule in force at the time.

The ADD report also disclosed that the ex-coach gave the telephone number of the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to Tyler Hamilton.

The report published by ADD was based on interviews with present and former riders, aides, and officials, including rider Michael Rasmussen. The interviews were conducted by telephone or email with people involved in cycling since 1998.

Rasmussen, who was interviewed for two days in January 2013, admitted in 2013 that he doped for more than a decade. In 2007, Rasmussen was leading the 2007 Tour de France and was sacked by his team after he lied about his whereabouts when he missed pre-race doping tests.

During the investigation by Anti-Doping Denmark, Riis spoke to ADD and admitted to blood doping and confirmed he had personal knowledge about practices related to blood doping. It was also revealed during the investigation that he had requested Danish rider Bo Hamburger provide Erythropoietin (EPO) to Jörg Jaksche. Riis also said there was a widespread use of Cortisone at Team CSC without medical justification. Riis, nicknamed The Eagle from Herning, said there are some things in the report that he does not agree with but he will not elaborate on them. The ex-cyclist said the report concluded that he failed as a leader and he confirmed and regret that deeply.

Later, Riis issued a statement to repeat his feelings of failure and regret and said he supports recommendations of the ADD report. The former professional cyclist said he believes the ADD recommendations could make a critical contribution for the future of cycling. Riis also went on to add that he is absolutely convinced that cycling as a sport is much cleaner today, partly due to the Biological Passport.

Bjarne Riis, the former general manager of Team CSC, admitted on 25 May 2007 that he used banned substances to come first in the 1996 Tour de France. The Tour reconfirmed his victory in July 2008 but with an asterisk label to indicate his doping offences. Following the 1998 Tour de France, Riis acquired the nickname of Mr. 60 percent to suggest he has used doping. The 60 percent is an allusion to a high level of red blood cells that indicate EPO usage.

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Friday 30, Jan 2015

  Armstrong Says He Will Cheat Again If Doping Remained Pervasive

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Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitted to extensive use of banned performance enhancing drugs during his career, has remarked that he would use the drugs again if he was competing in the doping-abundant culture that existed in professional cycling during the 1990s.

The former American professional road racing cyclist, who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong received a lifetime ban from competitive cycling by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012. This was after Armstrong was found guilty of using and promoting the culture of performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. In January 2013, the cyclist admitted to doping and use of banned drugs and techniques such as blood doping, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong denied using banned drugs before he was held guilty by USADA. He called many former teammates and riders liars when they accused him of doping. Lance Armstrong also threatened lawsuits against many of them.

The 43-year-old, in an interview with the BBC, said he had to make use of performance enhancing drugs in order to compete. Armstrong said if he was racing in 2015, he would not do it again because he does not think you have to but added he would probably do it again if he is taken back to 1995 when doping was completely pervasive. Armstrong remarked he would want to change the man that did those things, maybe not the decision, but the way he acted and added the way he treated people, the way he couldn’t stop fighting and went on to add that it was unacceptable and inexcusable. The former cyclist also expressed a desire for forgiveness from the public and remarked he is hopeful that he is getting close to that time when his life in public might return to normal. Armstrong also remarked that he believes he should still be considered a seven-time winner of Tour de France.

Armstrong also criticized Brian Cookson, the present president of the world governing body of cycling. The ex-cyclist said the decisions to “rush” through the request of Team Sky for Chris Froome to get emergency steroid treatment after the prologue of the Tour de Romandie and handling of the Astana doping affair by Cookson depict failures to signal a new direction at the top of the sport.

Many observers believed that Team Astana will have its WorldTour license revoked by UCI but the world governing body decided against it. Armstrong said he believes Cookson’s hands might have been tied by rules of the UCI.

In another development, former world cycling chief pat McQuaid has remarked that he had’certain sympathy’ with Armstrong. The ex-UCI chief said Armstrong has been harshly treated and very much made a scapegoat and added that there was a ‘witch-hunt’ after the cyclist. McQuaid also remarked that USADA wanted a ‘big name’ and this was the reason why Lance Armstrong was ‘treated differently’ from other cyclists who engaged in doping. The former UCI chief also said USADA made deals with smaller riders so that they can get information about the big riders.

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Thursday 16, Oct 2014

  Armstrong Admitted Doping In 2011, Says Hushovd

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Norway’s retired world champion cyclist Thor Hushovd has revealed in his autobiography “Thor” that he knew about doping of Lance Armstrong in 2011. Hushovd said Armstrong himself told him that he made use of banned products during his career.

Thor Hushovd was friends with the American cyclist for many years and appeared critical of the doping investigation against Lance Armstrong at times. Hushovd won the World Road Race Championship in 2010 and three National Road Trial Championships (2002, 2004, and 2005).  In a 15 year professional career, Hushovd also won 10 individual stages of the Tour de France throughout his career.

Hushovd revealed he was invited by Armstrong to Hollywood after the 2011 Tour of California. A few weeks back, Armstrong’s former US Postal Service teammate Tyler Hamilton had accused Armstrong of doping and Hushovd said Armstrong spontaneously admitted it to him that we all indulge in doping.

It is however surprising to note that Hushovd was critical of Floyd Landis, who tested positive during the 2006 Tour de France. Hushovd told TV 2 Sport then that Landis is certainly free to come to a world championship city, but he has no place in an anti-doping conference. The Norwegian cyclist had remarked when you have managed to lie for so many years and spent lots of money in the system, then he has lost my confidence, and probably that of many others too and had added then it is the wrong person to get to work on anti-doping issues.

Hushovd also revealed an incident of October 2012 when he received a text message from his manager Atle KvÃ¥lsvoll that Dane Steffen Kjærgaard, head of the Norwegian Cycling Federation (Norges Cycleforbund – NCF), had admitted to using banned drugs to compete. Hushovd said he admits that he had thought about it and remarked Steffen had been riding together with Lance Armstrong in a period when there was a lot of drug taking, and in addition he had been at a time when the Danish cycling environment was quite hard for a period.

Hushovd became publicly critical of Lance Armstrong when the American cyclist admitted to using banned performance enhancing drugs and techniques such as testosterone, cortisone, and blood doping during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

Hushovd also claimed in his autobiography that he never doped himself and added he never made this clear to Armstrong. The Norwegian cyclist said he had nothing to hide and added he understands that it can be hard for people to believe that after such a long period in the sport that he was never offered any kind of doping. Hushovd insisted but it’s true that no one has ever come to him and asked if he would try.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission is presently investigating into the doping past of cycling and specifically into claims that the previous leadership at UCI helped Lance Armstrong evade detection for many years. Hushovd remarked Armstrong was the sport’s big superstar and the golden calf and added the UCI would have lost a lot if Armstrong was revealed as a cheater. The Norwegian cyclist said he thinks the positive samples were hidden to save Armstrong and to protect the sport.

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Sunday 14, Sep 2014

  Astana Fires Valentin Iglinsky Over Positive Test

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Astana Fires Valentin Iglinsky Over Positive Test

Valentin Iglinsky, a Kazakh road racing cyclist who rides for UCI ProTour team Astana, has been fired with immediate effect from the team. Iglinsky has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair in accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules and the cyclist has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.

This was after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, announced that it has notified Kazakh rider Valentin Iglinsky for an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a sample collected in the scope of the 2014 Eneco Tour on 11 August 2014. In a statement released shortly afterwards, the Astana team said Iglinsky has confessed to doping and has been sacked with immediate effect. The statement on Team Astana read management at Astana Pro Team have taken direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract following the announcement by the Union Cycliste Internationale of a positive anti-doping test result for Valentin Iglinsky during the recent Eneco Tour.

It was added by Astana statement that Valentin has admitted to using prohibited substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff. The statement also added Astana Pro Team in its wish for full transparency has refused to defend a rider who failed to respect the rules and ethics as stipulated in his contract and who has failed to behave in a manner consistent with other riders in his team and within professional cycling.

The 30-year-old Kazakh rider finished the Eneco Tour in 96th place. He returned a positive sample on the opening stage of the race and raced twice more before his positive sample came to light. Valentin finished 106th at the Vattenfall Cyclassics and 49th at the Brussels Cycling Classic. Valentin took the overall classification in the Tour of Hainan in both 2010 and 2011 and is a part winner of stages in races like the Tour of Qinghai Lake, the Tour of Bulgaria, the Presidential Tour of Turkey, and the Tour du Loir et Cher. Valentin Iglinsky, a professional since 2009, is the younger brother of Astana’s Maxim Iglinsky, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2012.

Team Astana is a member of the Movement For Credible Cycling, formed in July 2007.

The history of Team Astana has been marked by a series of doping cases. Current general manager Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping as a rider on the squad at the 2007 Tour de France. Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title following a positive test for Clenbuterol.

In another development, Vuelta a Espana leader Alberto Contador has remarked the World Championships course in Ponferrada does not suit him. The Spaniard of team Tinkoff-Saxo said there are other riders who he thinks can help the Spanish team more and should go and he will rather give his place to them. Many in the cycling world believe this year’s 254-kilometre race (14 laps of 18.2km) will suit riders like Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano).

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Thursday 07, Aug 2014

  UCI Chief Wants Vinokourov And Riis To Testify

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UCI Chief Wants Vinokourov And Riis To Testify

Brian Cookson, the UCI president, has called upon Alexandr Vinokourov and Bjarne Riis to testify before the independent commission on the doping history of cycling. Cookson urged Riis and Vinokourov, the heads of the two most prominent teams in this year’s Tour de France, to make this effort to help the sport move from its disgraced past.

At the Tour de France finish in Paris, Cookson said he would like both of them to come to the commission. The UCI head remarked the commission doesn’t have powers of subpoena, but there is a court of public opinion here which is really important and those two people and others as well need to bear that in mind if they want to continue to operate in our world, opinion in the world of cycling would be much more favorable towards them if they came forward.

Cookson said he believes the cycling’s independent commission could help in the process of rebuilding within the sport. The UCI President said we have got a rule that says if you have got a major anti-doping violation you can’t be involved with a team, but our advice is that it’s difficult to employ that retroactively. He added so what he wants to try to do is find ways in which we can reassure people that the people who are involved in the sport who may have had a history have renounced that and given a commitment to work with us in a way that respects the rules, and is clean. Cookson added such and such a guy may have done wrong things but he was penalized for that, served his sanction and he has also spoken to the commission and told them about what happened. He went on to add that it is unrealistic to say we have to wipe out those people forever and ever and remarked there are teams that have tried that – his friends at Team Sky – and they have tied themselves in knots and other teams have tried other ways and found other complications.

Brian Cookson remarked he would not favor compelling former dopers who want to work within cycling to first testify to the commission. Cookson said he would rather want that it was by consent rather than compulsion and those people can come forward now. The UCI chief also said he would like to appeal to those people to show good faith at least and he expects them to come forward to the commission, to tell what happened, how it happened, and why it happened.

   The UCI President said he is “delighted” that Lance Armstrong has testified to the commission and remarked that it underlines that people are coming forward, people of significance, and that should encourage others to step forward because what we want to do is learn some lessons, take some action and address this situation of people who’ve been involved in doping being involved with teams.

In 2007, Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping but now is in charge of the Tour de France winner’s Astana squad. Riis, in charge of Tinkoff-Saxo, admitted to using erythropoietin to win the 1996 Tour. Riis was initially expunged from the record but subsequently reinstated.

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Tuesday 26, Nov 2013

  Armstrong Agrees Deal With Acceptance Insurance

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Armstrong Agrees Deal With Acceptance Insurance

Lance Armstrong has reached a settlement with Nebraska-based insurance company a day before the disgraced cyclist was scheduled to give sworn testimony about his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance was seeking $3m in performance bonuses it paid to Lance Armstrong from 1999 to 2001. It sued the banned cyclist, a winner of seven consecutive Tour de France titles, earlier this year after he admitted on Oprah Winfrey talk show that he doped during his illustrious career.

Mark Kincaid, Acceptance’s attorney, and Armstrong’s lawyer, Tim Herman, declined to disclose details of the settlement but both said the case was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. This would mean that Armstrong would not be required to show up for a deposition in Austin. The cyclist is yet to offer sworn testimony though he has publicly acknowledged that he made use of banned performance enhancing drugs and techniques such as blood doping, testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone, and EPO.

Recently, Armstrong said the former International Cycling Union president Hein Verbruggen helped him cover up doping at the 1999 Tour de France. This charge was vehemently denied by Verbruggen who dismissed it as a “ridiculous story”.

Verbruggen may now be called before an independent commission investigating the doping past of cycling after Armstrong directly implicated him in a cover-up of his test for corticosteroids. It was alleged by the cyclist that the former UCI head told him and his team to “come up with something.” However, Verbruggen remarked the world governing body of cycling never protected Armstrong. Verbruggen added that he had nothing to hide and was more than happy to be investigated. He also added that the story of Lance Armstrong is illogical because it was not a positive/anti-doping offence, in the opinion of the competent authority. Verbruggen also remarked that authority was not the UCI, but the French Ministry and added that after allegations a year back of a large-scale complicity at the UCI over doping by Lance Armstrong and his team, we are now back to a cortisone-case from 1999 that wasn’t even from the UCI.

In a statement, the UCI suggested the former UCI President may be invited to appear before the commission being set up by its new president, Brian Cookson. The statement read that the UCI’s Independent Commission of Inquiry is in the process of being set up and we are in advanced discussions with stakeholders on its terms of reference to allow full investigation of any allegations relating to doping and wrongdoing at the UCI. The statement also disclosed that the commission will invite individuals to provide evidence and we would urge all those involved to come forward and help the commission in its work in the best interests of the sport of cycling.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has remarked that it would await the outcome of the inquiry by the world governing body of cycling before it decides on whether to take any action over Armstrong’s allegations. An IOC statement read that it is hard to give any credibility to the claims of a cyclist who appears to have misled the world for decades.

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Sunday 30, Jun 2013

  Tour de France Winner Admits To Doping

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Tour de France Winner Admits To Doping

Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, during an interview with German weekly Focus has admitted for the first time that he received blood doping treatment from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

In the past, Ullrich had previously acknowledged having unspecified “contact” with Fuentes and said he couldn’t remember how many times he had received treatment from Fuentes. The cyclist from Germany said that while he had made bad decisions during his career, he did not harm or defraud anyone and added that almost everyone took performance-enhancing substances then. Ullrich added that for him fraud starts when he gains an advantage and that wasn’t the case and he wanted to ensure equality of opportunities. The rider added that he only wants to look forward, and never again backward.

The 39-year-old Ullrich, in the interview, said he had access to treatment from Fuentes but insisted using no other substance than his own blood. The doctor was jailed for a year by a Spanish court in April 2013 for performing blood transfusions on top cyclists. The 1997 Tour de France winner said nearly everyone at that time was using doping substances and he used nothing that the others were not using. Ulrich now wants to put his doping past behind him, but Germany’s Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has already said it will investigate. The anti-doping agency said it is important that Ulrich not only admits his crime, but also mentions the names of other participants in the background for the sport to be clean.

Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Federation, remarked Jan Ullrich had his opportunity a few years ago or a truly credible confession and he missed his chance and now, as far as I am concerned, he’s trying to work with some rhetorical maneuvers, which helps neither him nor the sport of cycling. Rudolf Scharping, president of the German Cycling Federation, said the confession by Ulrich should have come five years ago and added that it is far too late to try and clean things up and he could have helped the sport of cycling if he had laid everything out on the table much earlier.

The German cyclist’s confession comes six months after US cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted doping throughout his career and was banned for life, as well as being stripped of his seven Tour titles. The results of Jan Ullrich have also been erased from the history books after finishing second to Lance Armstrong three times in the Tour. In February 2012, Jan Ullrich was found guilty of a doping offense by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It was ruled that Ullrich was “fully engaged” in the doping program of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, exposed in the Operation Puerto probe. Ullrich was stripped by the court of his third-place finish at the 2005 Tour and after a while, Ullrich retired in 2007. The cyclist was retroactively banned in August 2012 and all of his results since May 2005 were erased.

The cyclist received support from an unexpected quarter with Lance Armstrong tweeting, “Jan Ullrich? Warm hearted. Amazing athlete. Great competitor. Loved toeing the line with you my friend.”

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Wednesday 03, Apr 2013

  Doping On Cycling Team Was Tolerated By Rabobank

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Doping On Cycling Team Was Tolerated By Rabobank

A Dutch newspaper has revealed that Team Rabobank tolerated the use of doping up until at least 2007. It was revealed by de Volkskrant that the riders were allowed to use their own products and medical staff of the team ensured that they didn’t hurt their health.

Three former riders, including Michael Boogerd, one of the Netherlands’ most popular riders, were said to have been involved in the HumanPlasma blood doping ring. A key witness in the Humanplasma scandal, Stefan Matschiner, revealed that three riders of the team were customers of the Swiss blood doping expert.

Boogerd had admitted to using banned blood booster EPO, cortisone and, late in his career, blood transfusions and said he used the banned substances from 1997 to 2007, the end of his career. He even admitted using the Austrian blood lab, Humanplasma, for transfusions. The cyclist won the Amstel Gold classic in 1999, edging Lance Armstrong in second place, and had two stage wins in the Tour de France.

Six former riders – Danny Nelissen, Marc Lotz, Thomas Dekker, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, and Grischa Niermann — and former manager Theo de Rooij have admitted doping. Nelissen confessed to using EPO while riding for the team and confirmed that a doping system was implemented after the Rabobank had endured a low-key start to the 1996 season. Nelissen remarked the pressure of supporting a family had influenced his decision to dope. He claimed he had EPO administered by the team doctor Geert Leinders at the Tour de France in 1996 and 1997.

Rolf Sorensen of Denmark admitted to doping in the 1990s and said he used EPO and cortisone. Theo de Rooy who was team manager from 2003 to 2007 did not deny that there was doping on the team and remarked if there was doping, that was a deliberate decision by the medical staff but claimed not to know of the HumanPlasma involvement.

Theo de Rooy added it was the responsibility of each rider to determine how far he would go into the medical field and said the team management did not encourage or pay for doping, and was not officially allowed. He went on to remark that he had disciplined riders who wanted to organize their own medical care outside the team structure. De Rooy left the team shortly after Rasmussen was removed from the 2007 Tour de France after the 16th stage and was handed over a ban of two years July 2007 to July 2009, for lying about his whereabouts. The cyclist later admitted to using EPO, growth hormones, insulin, testosterone, DHEA, IGF-1, cortisone, and blood doping, for most of his professional career.

Team Rabobank announced its withdrawal from sponsoring the team in October 2012 after 17 seasons in the peloton. The team however announced its intention to continue as a ‘white label’ under a new foundation yet to be established and made an announcement that it would participate in 2013 under the name Blanco Pro Cycling Team (successor of the former Rabobank), with the intention to find a sponsor for 2014 or to stop the team otherwise.

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