International Cycling

TDF winner knew his team was doping

2015-06-23 11:08
Bjarne Riis (AFP)

Copenhagen - Former Tour de France winner and Team Saxo manager Bjarne Riis knew about doping in his team but failed to act, according to a damning report by the Danish Anti-Doping Authority and the country's National Olympic Committee.

The report, released on Tuesday and based on more than 50 interviews and two and a half years of work, was inspired by a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation.

That probe saw Lance Armstrong, an iconic figure in the sport prior to his dramatic fall from grace, stripped of his seven Tour De France titles for doping offences and banned from professional cycling for life.

Riis, 51, who won the Tour in 1996 and subsequently admitted having doped during his career, was sacked by Team Saxo-Tinkov in March following a dispute with new owner Oleg Tinkov.

"Management, with Bjarne Riis in overall charge, has at a minimum had knowledge of doping within the team, but failed to intervene. It is completely unacceptable," Michael Ash, director of the Danish Anti-Doping Authority, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The report also contains an allegation by Danish rider Bo Hamburger that Riis asked him in 2000 to acquire EPO, which improves aerobic capacity by artificially raising the user's red blood cell count, for German Team Telekom rider Jorg Jaksche.

Jaksche confirmed the story to investigators, but Riis rejected the allegation, saying that though he did coach the two cyclists, he did not know that Hamburger and Jaksche were doping.

Riis was not immediately available for comment.

The report recommends that night-time testing of athletes should be introduced, that blood values from tests should either be delayed or not revealed to them and that a licensing system for team managers and doctors be introduced.

"Danish leaders in the sport failed to respond to specific knowledge about their own riders' use of doping," the Authority said in a statement.

With many of the revelations contained in the report dating back more than 10 years, a statue of limitations for doping cases applies and no disciplinary charges can be brought.

Read more on:    cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.