Rolf Aldag believes cycling has accomplished more in the fight against doping than any other sport. The HTC-Columbia Senior Sport Director says the most important thing is to now help young riders fight against doping.
Aldag, 41, rode for Team Telekom from 1993 to 2005, and then became one of the team's Sport Director. In May of 2007, together with former teammate and good friend Erik Zabel, he confessed to have used EPO during his riding days.
He confirmed that the temptation for a rider to use illegal products is still there, “but carries an extremely high risk today. A lot has changed there,” he said in an interview in the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The control system has become much better and everyone who decides for doping and is caught, must pay the consequences.”
Aldag said the UCI's biological passport “is a good way” to control things, along with the team's own anti-doping programme. “Our results also go into the UCI passport, that means that our riders' database is even bigger. Those are our possibilities to more or less have a feeling of security. Just talking to the cyclists isn't enough.”
There has been some criticism of Aldag and others of his generation being able to continue working in professional cycling in light of their doping background. “You can't say, everyone has to stay or everyone has to go. That is too arbitrary," he said. "But of course, you have to look at it critically and you also have to prove that you have earned a second chance.”
He continued, “I can't change the mistakes I made in the past, they should never have happened, but I can't whitewash them. But does that really mean, that I can't learn from them, in order to give others a change to do things better and to do them right?"