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Menchov, teammates questioned in Austrian blood clinic case

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
July 07, 2009, 20:32 BST,
Updated:
July 08, 2009, 8:28 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 10, 2009

Rabobank riders testified voluntarily

Rabobank’s Denis Menchov, Joost Posthuma and Pieter Weening have testified under oath before the Austrian Budndeskriminalamt (BKA, federal police) in its investigation of the Human Plasma blood centre. The three riders all declared that they were “in no way involved in this doping affair”, the team announced.

In a press announcement issued Tuesday evening, the Dutch ProTour team said that the BKA approached it this April concerning the investigation. “[Rabobank] announced its immediate and pledged full cooperation with the BKA, clearly indicating that the evidence would take place on a voluntary basis,” it read.

After hearing from those three riders, the BKA told the team that it would not at this time need to question them again.

Team general manager Harold Knebel said: "We have every confidence in our riders, but it is clear that the team has a strict anti-doping policy and we will act uncompromisingly and immediate if we are faced with incriminating facts.”

Human Plasma is a blood clinic in Vienna, Austria, and has been named by Bernhard Kohl as part of his doping confession. However, it first came to attention in January 2008, with Rabobank riders being rumoured to have been customers, as well as many other world-class athletes from various summer and winter sports.

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