Doping Fever - Is it terminal?
Michael Rasmussen's book hits the shelves and the effects are felt by the peloton.
the only one who felt tire tracks over his back. Rasmussen also claims in his book that everyone on the Rabobank 2007 Tour de France team was using performance enhancing products. Again, looking at the list and the era is it any surprise that, Dennis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Oscar Freire, Grischa Niermann and Pieter Weening were under the care of a doctor supplying them with go-go juice? It is being reported that at least one member of the squad, Freire, is demanding a retraction from Rasmussen or be sued.
Here’s the kicker - the doctor sticking them with needles and handing them pills was Dr. Geert Leinders. That name might have a familiar ring to it - he was Team Sky’s doctor from 2010 to 2013. Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford backed the hiring of his doctor by claiming that the team had researched the doctor’s past. I guess Sky’s management didn’t have access to Google or failed to notice that on the good doctor’s resume was his stint at Rabobank. Anyways, Sky had a great season in 2012 with Sir Bradley Wiggins winning almost every stage race he entered as well as dominating the Tour de France to a point that some journalists were slyly comparing Wiggo’s performances and times to those of Lance Armstrong’s Tour dominance. I’ll leave you make your own connections.
To be clear, there is no proof that Leinders gave PEDs to anyone on Team Sky. But for those who reported during the Armstrong era of team organized doping, this doesn’t look good.
Undoubtedly we’ll see some more riders forced from underneath the rock they hid along with their doping secrets. The doping that went on in the 1990s and 2000s is too big a secret to hide.
Unfortunately Weening is still an active professional cyclist on Orica-GreenEDGE who hasn’t, of this writing, responded to Rasmussen’s claims. His team, however, has and according to a press release, “We have asked Pieter to fully re-confirm his legally binding written statement to the team regarding his career and these issues before and after joining the team, specifically with regards to the current allegations.”
Maybe this influenced Vaughters to take to Twitter and post, “Sad to see all these guys Rasmussen named scrambling to deny the truth. But the system, as it is, would spit them out if they admitted.”
That’s where professional cycling finds itself – eating its own. If you admit to doping you could lose your job, so what’s the point of admitting anything? If I was a pro with a doping past I’d look no further than how Omega Pharma – QuickStep handled Levi Leipheimer’s doping admission - a quick kick out the team bus door. Look at Team Sky and their strict no doping policy of zero tolerance - Bobby Julich lost his job for admitting to doping. The smartest thing is to keep your mouth closed and hope your name doesn’t appear on a list or in a book one day.
The new UCI president Brian