Former manager loses lawsuit against Thomas Dekker over doping claims

Ex-rider biography must remain on the shelves, rules judge

Thomas Dekker's biography will not be withdrawn from the market, a judge in the Netherlands has ruled. The Dutchman's former manager had brought a lawsuit against the former pro and the book's author for what he called ‘false claims’ that he introduced Dekker to blood-doping doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes.

According to ad.nl, the judge ruled that author, Thijs Zonneveld, had thoroughly verified Dekker’s accusations against Hanegraaf, and that the “journalistic research, including ramifications, had been sufficiently careful.”

In the book, Dekker claims that Hanegraaf encouraged him to dope and introduced him to Fuentes. The book also claims that Hanegraaf said that he had himself experimented with drugs in the past. Hanegraaf denied all of these claims, calling them “total nonsense and pure slander.” He complained that he was depicted “as a criminal, and I have never met Fuentes in my life.”

Further, Hanegraaf said that Dekker was trying to extort him. The former rider owed him tens of thousands of Euros, he claimed, but threatened him with the revelations in his book instead of paying.

Zonneveld tweeted that he was pleased but not surprised by the court’s ruling, calling it a “victory for journalism and transparency.”

Dekker's book is full of stories of EPO, cortisone, blood doping and TUEs, as well as recreational drugs, drunken evenings, and prostitutes in hotel rooms before the start of the 2007 Tour de France.

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