Team Rabobank is requesting an apology from the German television broadcaster ARD, which had said that current and former Rabo riders Michael Boogerd, Denis Menchov and Michael Rasmussen were blood-doping clients of the Viennese blood laboratory "Humanplasma".
ARD issued a public apology last week after it had said that four named cyclists and unnamed German biathletes and cross-country skiers had ties to the blood bank, implicating their doping activities. But the apology did not specifically address the cyclists, and the Rabobank management considered it insufficient.
"It is too early to start a civil procedure," said interim team manager Henri van der Aat to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "But it seems to us that it would be good if the ARD would publicly make a complete acknowledgement of the fact that these charges had no basis. This way, our riders would have all doubt removed from them. It seems to me the least that the ARD could do."
The fourth rider named was retired Austrian Georg Totschnig, who announced earlier this week that he will sue ARD for damages.