Suspended Dutchman undergoing physiological testing for Garmin's development team
Thomas Dekker has labelled the possibility of returning to cycling as part of the Garmin-Cervélo set-up as “a dream,” but the Dutchman underlined that he has reached no agreement with the American team at this time.
On Wednesday, Jonathan Vaughters confirmed that Dekker is undergoing physiological testing with a view to possibly signing for Garmin-Cervélo’s development team, but no contract negotiations have taken place. Dekker is currently serving a two-year suspension for EPO usage, which expires on July 2.
“For now I can confirm there is no agreement with Garmin-Cervélo or their development team,” Dekker said in a statement released by his agent. “I am doing tests that correlate my power and oxygen carrying capacity with the blood levels. Hopefully, these will show my body can compete clean.”
Dekker was suspended in 2009 when suspicious blood values in his UCI biological passport led to past samples being re-tested. A sample from December 2007 was found to be positive for EPO and he was sanctioned.
Dekker also claimed that he was willing to cooperate with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about his doping past. After his positive test, Dekker initially claimed to have used EPO just once but revealed to Cyclingnews in 2010 that he had used the product “over a longer period.” In Autumn 2009, Dekker was allegedly named in an investigation into the Austrian HumanPlasma doping ring.
“I have submitted a letter to WADA that I will cooperate fully with any questions they have regarding my past,” Dekker said. “I hope I am given another chance, but I understand that it isn't as simple as just asking to be forgiven and then jumping back into the top level. I will earn it. Slowly and patiently. And I will show that I can be a positive force in cycling.
“To be in contact with Vaughters is an honour on its own, making a comeback at his team is a dream.”
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