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Friday 29, Mar 2013

  Danish Olympic Riders Were Doping, Says Rasmussen

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Danish Olympic Riders Were Doping, Says Rasmussen

Three of the riders on the Danish Olympic team were doping when they competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, former professional bicycle rider Michael Rasmussen has told anti-doping authorities.

In late January, the Dane who was kicked out of the 2007 Tour de France when he was wearing the race leader’s yellow jersey admitted to doping for 12 years and revealed he has been cooperating with authorities, including the US Anti-Doping Agency, about his drug links and cheating past. The 38-year-old revealed he used EPO, cortisone, insulin, human growth hormone, and blood transfusions from 1998-2010 when he was riding for various teams such as CSC-Tiscali and Rabobank.

According to Politiken newspaper, the former cycle star while being questioned by representatives of the international doping agency, WADA, as well as authorities in the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US explained how doping was part of the preparations of the Danish cycling team for the Olympic Games just over eight years ago. It was remarked that one of the five members of the Danish road cycling team – Frank Høj, Bo Hamburger, Nicki Sørensen, Lars Michaelsen, and Michael Rasmussen – allegedly smuggled the drugs into the Olympic camp. One of the Danes was successful in breaching the otherwise top-notch security at Olympic Games to smuggle a syringe through the control by concealing it in the battery compartment of a media device. The five cyclists shared an apartment in the Olympic Village and spent a lot of time together before the race and discussed the possibility of doping and three of the five riders injected a cortisone product.

The head of the Danish cycling authority and the team leader for the Danish team during Athens 2004, Jesper Worre, was shocked to hear the news and remarked we need to get to the bottom of this because it’s absolutely insane if that actually happened. Worre added we will try to get an overview before commenting and were not present during Rasmussen’s questioning and don’t have insight into the case. He further added that he knew nothing of such occurrences.

The information must be verified before action is taken, Jens Evald, a law professor at Aarhus University and former head of Anti-Doping Danmark, contended. Evald added that everyone that was present at the questioning is part of a confidentiality pact and just because Rasmussen says it is does not mean that it is a truthful statement and said one has to be careful not to conclude anything until the information has been verified.

        Meanwhile, Hamburger and Michaelsen both denied to Ekstra Bladet tabloid that they were doping during the 2004 Olympics. Sørensen, who is still active as a rider for Team Saxo-Tinkoff, also denied doping and said he thinks the accusations about the Olympics in the media are very unpleasant and he just wants to say that they are unfounded. Sørensen added he is willing to speak with Anti-Doping Danmark and DCU about the story.

The head of the Danish athletics association, Danmarks Idræts-Forbund, Niels Nygaard said that it would be very sad if the news was indeed true and remarked it is always sad when Danish athletes are doping, but it is even more of a shame if the Danish cyclist were doping during the Olympic Games.

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Thursday 07, Mar 2013

  Dutch Ex-Cyclist Admits Doping

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Dutch Ex-Cyclist Admits Doping

A former Dutch professional cyclist who once edged Lance Armstrong to win the Amstel Gold Race had admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

Michael Boogerd, the spring classic specialist, admitted to making the use of performance enhancing drugs for a decade during his career. Boogerd revealed he used EPO and cortisone besides using blood transfusions in the last period of his career and added that he doped from 1997 to 2007, a period that covered almost his entire professional career.

Boggerd rendered an apology for keeping the doping culture alive and said he is sorry that he cannot accept that doping was wrong. The cyclist admitted to using the Austrian blood lab, Humanplasma, for transfusions and said he flew to Vienna for blood transfusions and stored his own blood for later use though he did not name anyone who helped him dope and remarked doping was his responsibility and choice.

The confession by the Dutch former cyclist came after several reports linked the former Rabobank rider to doping practices, including going to the Vienna lab. The cyclist, who retired in 2007, had two Tour de France stage wins and won the Amstel Gold classic in 1999, narrowly beating Lance Armstrong, who was banned for life from cycling and stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles and later confessing to doping during his seven-straight Tour victories.

Bogart won a Tour stage in 1996 and his best overall finish in the Tour was fifth in 1998. His greatest triumph was widely regarded as the 2002 Tour 16th stage win in the French Alps, including a solo climb to the finish in La Plagne. After announcing his retirement, the Dutch cyclist became a regular cycling commentator for NOS.

With this confession, Boogerd is the latest rider from the now disbanded Rabobank team to admit doping after Michael Rasmussen, a climbing specialist who won stage victories in the Tour de France and Spanish Vuelta, who admitted to taking everything from testosterone and growth hormones to blood transfusions from 1998-2010 for boosting his performance. In 2005 and 2006, Rasmussen finished the Tour de France wearing the polka dot jersey as the best climber and was the overall leader of the 2007 Tour until he was kicked off for lying about his whereabouts when he missed the pre-race doping tests. The cyclist later admitted that he had lied and was given a two-year ban from cycling.

Last year, Rabobank ended its long sponsorship of professional cycling and said the trust in the cycling world has gone after the publication of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Lance Armstrong and Bert Bruggink of the board of governors said that we are no longer convinced that the international professional cycling world is capable of creating a clean and honest sport.

A judicial inquiry was recently opened by Belgian authorities into Dr. Geert Leinders, who worked for the Rabobank and Team Sky cycling teams. An investigation was launched by the prosecutor’s office in Dendermonde after a Dutch newspaper claimed the Belgian doctor played a key role in alleged doping practices at the former Rabobank team.

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Tuesday 01, Jan 2013

  Crawford On Why Leipheimer And He Used EPO

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Crawford on why leipheimer and he used epo

Rick Crawford, a coach of top American talent and collegiate cycling royalty (now at Colorado Mesa University), recently admitted to doping two riders — Levi Leipheimer and possibly Kirk O’Bee — from 1999 to 2001. After his admission, the coach was immediately fired.

Crawford said that he knew Leipheimer since before anybody had really heard of him and they were gaining a lot of success just with normal training methodology, just good old working hard. He added that Levi was not getting the same performance enhancing drug treatment as his contemporaries on the U.S. Postal Service team. Crawford added that Levi was never a part of a circle in the Postal team and Levi decided to go ahead with using drugs after the two were trying to figure out how to be competitive at that world level and added the decision was just to compete in a world where it seemed there was no other way.

Crawford was sourcing — and shipping EPO, through the U.S. mail. The drug had the ability to increase the ability of the body to transport oxygen and in no time, the name and the ability of Leipheimer  was on the rise. After Leipheimer’s third-place finish in the 2001 Vuelta a España, Crawford said he and his pupil parted ways and Leipheimer headed to Rabobank, leaving the coach on the fringe of the top level of the sport and let down. However, Leipheimer said continued to work together for a time after he joined Rabobank.

Leipheimer did not address specifics but provided no defenses for his and his former coach’s decisions. He said he is not going to try and make a justification. Of Crawford’s decision to come out clean, Leipheimer said he’s glad and added that he was positive and motivating when he worked with him. Leipheimer is currently serving a reduced ban of six months tied to his testimony in the Lance Armstrong case.

In another development, Erik Dekker and Marc Wauters (both sports directors with WorldTour teams) have both denied having used doping whilst riding for Rabobank. The denial was in a response to an anonymous former Rabobank rider and details that have emerged from the USADA reasoned decision in the Lance Armstong case. In an affidavit in the USADA case, Levi Leipheimer discussed his doping use during his time with Rabobank, saying he was assisted by a team doctor. NOS television a few days back said that an anonymous retired Rabobank rider described doping on the team, starting in 1999, with the name of Dekker being mentioned. Reacting to the news, Dekker said you may wonder whether the anonymous source who accuses me is telling the truth, or whether he has his own truth. Meanwhile, Wauters remarked that it is painful to read about such allegations and he can only confirm that he have never taken drugs.

Dekker rode for Rabobank from 1996 to 2006, and served as a sport director for the team, to be known as Blanco Pro Cycling Team next year, since 2007 and Wauters was with Rabobank from 1998 to 2006, and is a sport director for Lotto Belisol.

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