Paolo Bettini and Patrick Lefevere have both denied alleged statements by Patrik Sinkewitz that Bettini supplied the Italian with testosterone products while they were both on Lefevere's Mapei/Quick.Step team. The charges were made public yesterday by the German TV sender ZDF, which claimed to have notes from an interrogation of the German rider. Sinkewitz' attorney has also denied that his client said that.
Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition control in June, and was subsequently fired by T-Mobile after confessing to the usage. He is cooperating with investigators in an effort to receive a shortened suspension.
Bettini promptly called his former team-mate, according to the Italian press agency ANSA. "If you did not give these statements, as you say now, then deny them immediately," he is said to have told Sinkewitz. "On the other hand, if you have made these charges, then you have to take the responsibility for them yourself. Have you spoken to no one? Then where does this story come from?"
Lefevere, team manager at Quick.Step-Innergetic and its forerunner Mapei, told Sporza that he has "absolutely no belief in this story."
"I cannot imagine that Sinkewitz got doping products from Bettini two years after he left the team," he continued. "Bettini wants Sinkewitz to deny or retract these statement as soon as possible. If that does not happen, he will take the necessary steps against Sinkewitz."
Meanwhile, the reigning World Champion "is calm and wants to use his anger to become World Champion again on Sunday," according to Lefevere.