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Rolf Aldag chats at the start.
Former rider and team manager turns his back on the sport
Rolf Aldag no longer wants to be deeply involved in cycling, saying that he has “no interest in working in a scenario that I don't like and where nothing changes." He also criticised the UCI and its president Pat McQuaid, particularly as to their stand on doping.
Aldag rode professionally from 1991 to 2005, spending most of his career at Team Telekom. He then joined the team's management, ending his cycling-related career in 2011 as manager of HTC-Highroad.
Most recently he felt himself “trapped” in a “special environment” in which the UCI makes its decisions considering nothing but its own interest “without a hint of democracy,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to Aldag, the UCI follows its own economic interest without seriously tackling doping problems. “In every area, things are stretched out until it is to their advantage. Regardless of whether it is ethically responsible,” he said.
Aldag called UCI president Pat McQuaid “extremely unbelievable.” McQuaid should not have told journalists that the UCI had never received financial donations from athletes, “and then a few days later say, oh it was just 100,000 dollars one time, and then another 25,000. One must actually say: McQuaid did not tell the truth – and he in that position (as UCI President, ed.). Therefore he should go.”
“He also said at first that there was no Contador case – now we have been working on it for two years. There were enough other cases, where the UCI could have made a point. Such things make McQuaid extremely unbelievable.”
It must be noted that the Amstrong donations were made to the UCI before McQuaid was president. In addition, the UCI in 2010 showed Cyclingnews the receipts for the donation, which show that the money was used for anti-doping, and also made it clear that it would not accept donations in the future.
Aldag also spoke out against Hans-Michael Holczer, the former Gerolsteiner team boss who is now at Team Katusha. “If he has such high moral requirements, then you must say that he failed massively in their everyday implementation in the past. He always said that he was clean and wanted his riders to ride clean – and then you go around blindly and have three huge doping cases with Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Davide Rebellin on your team? And then to say you have nothing to do with it - that doesn't work, of course.”
Aldag could have accepted an offer from Omega Pharma-Quick Step for this season, but he decided to turn his back on pro cycling. Not entirely though – he will still act as an advisor to world time trial champion Tony Martin, who he calls a “good, fine guy.”
The 43-year-old is currently working as Managing Director, Germany, for the World Triathlon Corporation, which licences and organises the Ironman triathlons.