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New T-Mobile doping charges

Old 04-30-07, 06:31 AM
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New T-Mobile doping charges

Ok so the soigneur from T-Mobile that said Biarne was doping back in the day is now releasing a book where he talks about how the team doctors were the ones giving the EPO and other PEDs, and that Riis used EPO when he won the 1996 TdF. Biarne just wants to look to the future (much like McGuire) but T-Mobile's current ownership seems to be taking a different view of it and rather than deny the claims say they will investigate them. Also named is Walter Godefroot former manager and director sportif with T-Mobile and now with...oh Astana who picked up...oh a bunch of former T-Mobile riders and former Liberty Suguros riders....they must be all the clean ones.

What I find interesting is that the doctors involved with creating and administering T-Mobile's "strict" anti-doping program are the doctors named in the article/book. Also the other team that is being aplauded as having a great in house anti-doping program is owned and being run by anther individual named. I said it in another thread and say it here again...if you are on the cutting edge of the doping it would be VERY easy to develop and impliment an anti-doping system that effectivly catches none of the ways you are doping...but gives a GREAT show for sponsors so they can claim to be at the cutting edge of the anti-doping front.

The more I learn about the whole pro peleton the more I think just about everyone is doing this. Does anyone else feel sorry for these guys? I mean say your young and show some promise. You get signed to some big team and work your arse off and then come the drugs. If you are low on the totem pole you are taking them just to keep up and if you are higher on the pole you take them to get the edge over the other guys taking them. Is there really a way out of this loop? There will always be people willing to take the risk they might get caught, that have the money to get the cutting edge stuff that is ahead of the testing or that will do whatever it takes to compete.

It sucks...but I guess it isn't any different than, NFL football, Baseball, track and field or anything else. Can anything really be done? I mean cycling isn't the NFL...they just don't have the resources ($$$) to track this all down...and honestly, do they really want to?

Originally Posted by cyclingnews.com
'New' 1996 doping charges against T-Mobile team doctors

T-Mobile team doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid gave Team Telekom riders, including Jan Ullrich, EPO injections during the 1996 Tour de France, former soigneur Jeff D'Hondt has alleged in his soon-to-be-published book.

Last month, D'Hondt claimed on Belgian television that the team doctors provided EPO and other doping products to the team riders during the Tour, including to the eventual Tour winner Bjarne Riis.

In next week's edition of German Spiegel magazine, excerpts of D'Hondt's book will claim that "The riders wanted it, even when team doctor Andreas Schmid was against it." He also specifically claimed that Heinrich personally injected the riders with the banned substance.

T-Mobile team manager Bob Stapleton had previously defended the team doctors, but seems to be changing his tune following the latest allegations. "If the claims about the Freiburg University prove to be true, then we will look for an alternative (source of medical care)", he said. T-Mobile communications director Christian Frommert told the dpa press agency, "We will speak with them, and if there is action to be taken, we will take it how and when we feel is appropriate."

A University Clinic spokeswoman said in March that "The accusations do not have any basis." Earlier this month, Heinrich denied the charges, calling D'Hondt's comments "inexplicable."

Schmid and Heinrich are also in charge of the team's new antidoping program.
Originally Posted by cyclingnews.com
T-Mobile responds to 1996 doping charges

T-Mobile Team is not taking the newest charges of doping in the team's past lightly. "Those are serious charges. We will look carefully at the evidence," said Sport Director Rolf Aldag to sid. "We aren't interested in just getting out of this matter. It must all be explained."

Jef D'Hont, a former soigneur for the-then Team Telekom, has claimed that in 1996, when Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France for the team, there was "systematic doping" within the team, administered by the team doctors, who still work for T-Mobile. In a book to be published shortly, he further claims that the former team manager Walter Godefroot organized and financed the doping system.

Aldag, who was a member of the Telekom team at that time, said that it was "unimaginable, that there was systematic doping," and claimed to have a clean conscience and never to have doped. He was supported by team manager Bob Stapleton, who said, "I trust Ralf 100 percent, and also our experiences with the doctors from (the University Clinic) Freiburg have so far been positive."

The two doctors named in the book, Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, still work for the team and administer the team's highly-vaunted, newly-introduced anti-doping plan. Stapleton admitted that it would be a major blow to the team and the program if the claims were proved to be true. "That would destroy our program. We will take out time and see which information is true."

Heinrich denied the charges through the T-Mobile press office, but did not make a public statement. "The University Clinic Freiburg will be very interested in clearing up this matter," Aldag noted. Stapleton added that if the charges come to nothing, then the doctors could turn to the courts for satisfaction.

Godefroot told Spiegel magazine, which is publishing parts of the book, that he does not want to have his name associated with the book. He specifically denied to the magazine "that I have told someone to use a forbidden substance or that I would organize something like that." The Belgian, who is now a consultant to Team Astana, told rp-online.de "Well, he's writing a book and needs money."

Udo Bölts, now a directeur sportif for Team Gerolsteiner, was also a member of the T-Mobile squad in 1996, and rejected the claims out of hand. In his time as a rider he "never noticed anything like that" he said, adding, "I don't want to comment on this absurdity."

D'Hont claimed that during the Tour in 1996, "in the evenings after the massage there were new EPO units given every two or three days." He specifically claims that Riis and Jan Ullrich, who finished second in the Tour, both received EPO shots, with Ullrich also getting growth hormones.

D'Hont quite his job with Telekom after the 1996 season, saying he "could no longer bear the stress and the doping system," according to "Spiegel". He changed to Française des Jeux. During the Festina doping scandal of 1998, he was charged by an anonymous source, and ultimately sentenced to a nine months suspended sentence. He claimed that during this time, his wife feared a search of the house, and destroyed all his evidence concerning doping and Telekom.

Meanwhile, German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke has joined the fray. He has filed a complaint with prosecutors in Freiburg, charging Heinrich and Schmid with violating drug laws and bodily injury, according to Netzeitung.de. "It is a major scandal, that a German university clinic is being publicly accused of supporting doping-doctors with the continued misuse of medical products - and that for criminal purposes, as well as bodily injury - and all at the expense of the taxpayers," he said.
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Old 04-30-07, 07:12 AM
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The biggest rub for me in all these cases is the teams throwing the riders under the bus while claiming lilly white innocence. T-Mobile, CSC, Phonak, etc. know exactly what goes on. They make it sound like the riders are out in the parking lot at 1 a.m. shooting up like some addict. I’d be willing to lay big money that in 99 percent of the cases, the teams are more guilty than the individual riders.

Face it, these guys are not really that much different from race horses. Sure, they can say no, but they’ll be out on the street. Most of them don’t have too many other career options outside of cycling, so they just do what they’re told knowing full well if it hits the fan, they’ll pay the price while the directors simply go in search of a replacement.
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Old 04-30-07, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
What I find interesting is that the doctors involved with creating and administering T-Mobile's "strict" anti-doping program are the doctors named in the article/book....
Yep, that's a problem. And I assume it's why T-Mobile is doing an investigation.

The more I learn about the whole pro peleton the more I think just about everyone is doing this. Does anyone else feel sorry for these guys?
I do, I'm sure it's enormous pressure.

However, that does not alter the fact that ultimately they are responsible for their actions, especially if they try to dodge the charges. (What can I say, I personally dislike it when someone lies, particularly when the truth is fairly clear, and they lie to avoid punishment.)

It sucks...but I guess it isn't any different than, NFL football, Baseball, track and field or anything else.
Not at all. What's different is that baseball has a strong union, and stoutly refused testing until recently. Now there's a federal investigation, multiple affadavits from the guy who allegedly dealt PED's to baseball players when BALCO closed up, and the very real possibility of federal regulation for drug testing in that sport.

I suspect that in a few months, baseball's shenanigans will make cycling look clean.

Can anything really be done?
Yes. Teams can be hit with monetary penalties (or possibly even criminal charges, if applicable) when a player gets busted for doping. And in theory, they have to continue to devise tests to improve PED detection (a very hard task these days).

If the teams no longer support or turn a blind eye to doping, I'd say the amount of PED usage will drop.
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