Federation, team leaders look to a cleaner future
There was little surprise in the Dutch cycling scene following the release of the report which revealed that the vast majority of riders doped in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The specially-formed Dutch Anti-Doping Commission estimated that up to 95 percent of riders in that era doped.
Marcel Wintels, chairman of the Dutch cycling federation told De Telegraaf that the report “gives us an honest, realistic but also painful insight into how widespread doping in cycling was. We must now look at how we can use the recommendations of the committee to achieve a cleaner cycling."
Daan Luijkx of Vacansoleil-DCM said that he hoped the report would make it easer for his team to find a new sponsor. “We had already made this analysis ourselves. It's nice to hear that an independent committee conducted an investigation and came to the same conclusion.”
Blanco team manager Richard Plugge applauded the report. “It's especially nice to see how the leadership of Dutch cycling is resolute in the fight against doping,” he told the ANP news agency. “That does not mean that there is not still a lot of work to do. I am convinced that the sport is in a better position than a decade ago.”
The conclusion was a logical one for former pro Michael Boogerd. "I think I have heard this before," he said. He admitted to having been part of the hearings, but said, “I only spoke for myself. Even if I hadn't confessed, I would have gone (to the hearing, ed.). For me it was a tedious time. Choosing to take doping was difficult, but actually you could not do otherwise. I only regret that the focus now is on the riders."
Boogerd was reluctant to endorse the report’s conclusion that doping has been significantly eradicated in the years since 2008, however. “We’ve had some positive cases again on the Giro and you never know if there’s a new drug on the market,” Boogerd told De Telegraaf. “But let me say this: I’ve seen things that raise eyebrows after 2008 too.”
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