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Lotz confirms doping at Rabobank, Wauters denies it

Cycling News
January 21, 2013, 11:05,
January 21, 2013, 11:22
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 21, 2013
Marc Wauters (Rabobank)

Marc Wauters (Rabobank)

  • Marc Wauters (Rabobank)
  • Marc Lotz (Quick.Step) worked hard today to set up teammate Tom Boonen.
  • Michael Rasmussen rides into yellow at the 2007 Tour de France.
  • Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches)

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Confidentiality clause stops Rasmussen discussing his past

The disclosures of doping at the Rabobank team continue to emerge, with Marc Lotz confirming that he also used doping products whilst at the Dutch team. However Marc Wouters has insisted he did not dope, while Michael Rasmussen is prevented from discussing the subject, his current team manager says, but may well have something to contribute to the discussion.

Over the weekend, Thomas Dekker told the NRC Handelsblad newspaper that “doping was a way of life” at the team, and that “doping was part of the job.” He rode for the Dutch team from 2005 to 2008. But there was also doping earlier at the team, according to Danny Nelissen, who was with the team for two years. He confirmed that he had was injected with EPO by team doctor Geert Leinders at the 1996 and 1997 Tours de France.

Now Lotz has added his voice to the list of confessions. He was with the Rabobank team from 1997 to 2004, and said that in 2001, “I started using stimulants, steroids and EPO. I heard in the peloton around me what was happening. I did it to remain competitive, even as a helper,” he told the Limburg broadcaster L1.

Lotz did it all his own, he claimed. “The team gave me nothing, a doctor helped me,” but he would not say whether Leinders was the doctor involved. He also denied ever having used growth hormones or blood transfusions.

Wauters, now a sport director with Lotto Belisol, said he had no contact with doping in his years at Rabobank: 1998 to 2006. He won the second stage of the Tour de France in 2001, moving him into the yellow jersey for one stage.

“If I'd used EPO, I wouldn't have lost the yellow jersey the day after my stage win,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen.

On that next day, “I had very bad legs,” he said. “I felt totally unrecovered, so I had a bad day in the Ardennes. With doping that would have gone differently, I would have been much stronger.”

Wauters did not have anything bad to say about Leinders. “I've never notice bad things. He had my trust," he said.

“I see my yellow jersey hanging here in my living room. There is not a black spot on it. It is very clean.”

Rasmussen can't discuss Rabobank doping

Much of Michael Rasmussen's past at Rabobank has already emerged but he claimed he can't publicly address the issue because of the risk of having to pay a fine for violating a confidentiality agreement with his current team. However Claus Hembo, the CEO of his current team, Christina Watches, has hinted that Rasmussen may have something to say in the future.

The NRC eport said that Rasmussen used five blood bags, and 100,000 units of EPO. cortisone and growth hormones during the 2007 Tour de France. which he rode for Rabobank. He was removed from that Tour whilst wearing the yellow jersey after a scandal about his whereabouts before the race exploded.

“My feeling is that the entire peloton in 2007 was not riding in legal means,” Hembo told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. “Even Michael.”

While he would not directly comment on whether Rasmussen has discussed doping with him, he said, that “in this context I would then say that I think that Michael really wants to tell what happened. But he has a confidentiality agreement with Rabobank, which would cost him 250,000 ($45,000) every time he says something on the matter."

“We have been trying to get the agreement lifted so he can tell his version from 2007. But Michael now has a trial running against Rabobank and therefore also the duty of confidentiality, he cannot say anything.”

Hembo tried to put Rasmussen's past behind him, insisting his often controversial Continental team is now racing clean.

“It happened in 2007, when everyone rode against each other, on equal terms," he said. "Today we have Michael and a very clear position. We will have a completely clean cycling team. It should run on love and spring water.”

TShame More than 1 year ago
When you have a super skinny guy out-powering everybody, you gotta be suspicious. Amazing how everyone is willing to confess that they "used to" dope. Did they all just wake up one day and decide to quit?
Pignone Fisso More than 1 year ago
In cycling there is nothing surprising about a skinny guy out-powering bigger, more powerful riders, in particular when it comes to climbing. Whether on drugs or not, a great deal of training in modern cycling revolves around power-to-weight ratio. So basically, a rider is constantly trying to maximize his power output while minimizing weight gain. It is a science. of course, the skinny guy will not always win: they tend to be better suited for the long climbs eg. Pozzovivo, Rujano, Schleck, Contador.
TShame More than 1 year ago
I think you missed the point., especially when you start listing names of riders who 'fit the bill'.
Dale Newhouse More than 1 year ago
Just goes to show you it was the culture of cycling then and they can't blame it all on Lance. Not a good time for cycling.
Strydz More than 1 year ago
They are not blaming it all on Lance he is just the big name story, Leipheimer lost a big chunk of his results as have others.
DrBigRing More than 1 year ago
Time for Indurain to come clean.
nasley More than 1 year ago
Indurain, Merckx and why not Lemmond? wait a sec... why not all of them?
nasley More than 1 year ago
I used to be an amateur cyclist in Brazil, I didn't go pro because doping was widespread, and I had to dope if I wanted to be competitive... maybe that's why we refer to cycling also as PEDaling? don't get me wrong I love cycling, but let's ALL be honest: does anybody really believe that one day 100% of cyclists will be competing a 100% clean? COME ON... i think it's better to legalize doping, just limit it to a point where they don't get killed.. better yet, set no limits, let them get killed. At least this whole circus will be burned to the ground. Perhaps afterwards a new cycling appears... riding for leisure ONLY!
Peter Ecos More than 1 year ago
Legalized doping is not the answer. Simply because not everyone responds the same way, and in fact, to some it may be detrimental. Lance wasn't the best rider of his generation, he was the best doper. We will never know if he was truly the best. I'd think not but my mind is so full of confusion and anger now. However, if you are implying that there should be a revision of what is allowed *after* racing for exclusively recovery purposes then that is a discussion worth having. The human body was not designed for ultra long efforts like the TDF. It is, in my opinion, a miracle that any clean rider would be able to finish a grand tour. If indeed such a rider exists.
nasley More than 1 year ago
you got a point. I was thinking about that. They should cut the distances or difficulties on these tours as it is too demanding for athletes. I have trained professionaly, but not competed but I can say it possible to do all that being clean but just not as fast as they do it. But I am not sure that cutting will solve anything since dopers will dope no matter what, so perhaps adjusting testing to allow post racing 'recovery' could be very interesting.
Chris Manick More than 1 year ago
Well this supports lances position not usadas he should have fought the charges the reason the broke their rules of limitations because they said they had the most sophisticated doping well now we know every team did usada you should return 5 tour victories or the icing needs to remove all winners he'll I bet lemond cheated some how he did return after a life threating injury and won how if all were doping it seems really fishy
Strydz More than 1 year ago
Why should USADA return 5 victories? They are just following the rules, it is the other countries doping agencies and WADA that need to get there head out of there arses and do something
thelowerdepths More than 1 year ago
nasley brings up a very good point, that being : how many decades are we going to sit and hear the same old song? "THAT back there was the era of doping, not now … now we're all riding clean." and then someone gets popped, someone else confesses, then there's a whole slew of pops and confessions and it's same old same old all over again … "THAT back there was the era of doping, not now…" only moved up 5-10 years, other than the date, nothing's changed. you put up that much money (salaries, bonuses, primes, etc) and couple it with that much exposure (regional and global TV & media) add in a healthy dose of sponsors, gifts, entitlements … what do you think will be allowed to change? we want our fairy tales AND our gladiators. not saying these athletes are not capable, but at that level? for that long? that consistently? with the speeds always increasing? now you're just pissing on my ears and telling me it's rain …
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Amen to your third paragraph. This is the one part that so many self rightous keyboard warriors here will never understand. Those sections of the proffesional life where if you come second by 2 sec after a three week race you may as well come 180th! NO ONE cares! you have just raced years off your life for virtually nothing in the purse! No ongoing sponsorship to go with the title, no home coming parades, NOTHING. What are you prepared to do to ensure you have the best possible chance of making a living? The most humorous part is that the organisers have just anounced the "Hardest Ever" TdF in an era when they are trying to clean it up! If the peloton knew they had to dope before to survive, what do you think they'll do this time?
Strydz More than 1 year ago
The win at all costs argument is absolute rubbish! Winning by cheating is no achievement at all, if you are not talented enough to make a living out of it then do something else, get an education, work in a factory, whatever and just enjoy living. In regards to the Tour being hard so they have to dope to survive is also misleading, no doping means the race slows down, it doesn't have to be a fast race to be a good race. If they can't survive clean in a 3 week race then they are not Grand Tour riders and they should look to compete in 1 week races.
aqua lung More than 1 year ago
so, besides the USADA report rabobank knew something else was going to surface and hence pulled sponsorship? if so, lucky timing for them.
Filho2940 More than 1 year ago
I don't know if Wauters has anything to admit, but he can't anyway because he would lose his DS job !
aqua lung More than 1 year ago
dhm600 More than 1 year ago
Here is some maths about The Chicken called: "running the numbers: 5 bags uv 2007 TDF chicken blood".