"I neither organized nor financed doping in our team," former Telekom Team Manager Walter Godefroot said at a press conference in Gent, Belgium, Tuesday. He denied having encouraged or introduced doping within the team.
The 63 year-old Belgian was responding to charges made by former soigneur Jef d'Hont, who claimed that Godefroot had organized doping, including EPO, at Telekom during the 1990s. Seven riders on the team at that time, including Erik Zabel, have since confessed to using EPO and other doping products, and said that the team doctors were also involved in the scheme.
Godefroot said that he had considered d'Hont a friend, and was surprised by the charges against him. He noted that he will go to court over the matter. "I have decided to start a process against Jef d'Hont. It will be filed soon."
"I have consistently denied these charges and will not tolerate them," he said. "I know that I have the support of our personnel, from co-workers to more riders."
He refused to make any comment about any specific riders, especially his former star. "If you want an explanation from Jan Ullrich, you will have to ask Jan Ullrich. I won't talk about other people."
Godefroot, rode professionally from 1965 to 1976 and had 155 wins. He was team manager at Telekom/T-Mobile from 1992 to 2005, when he went into retirement. He made a surprise comeback to the scene in July 2006 as an advisor to Team Astana, at the request of Alexander Vinokourov.