The Rabobank team has reacted to allegations that systematic doping occurred on the team up until 2007 by saying that they now have a zero tolerance stance towards doping.
On Saturday Volkskrant ran an interview with Theo de Rooy, who was the team manager from 2003 to 2007. De Rooy detailed how riders were allowed to use doping products, while the team’s medical staff oversaw that the athletes’ health was kept in check and that no positive doping controls were returned by anti-doping authorities.
Rabobank, the team’s sponsor since 1996, was quick to react but on Monday the team itself sent Cyclingnews a statement.
“We're surprised and disappointed about the statements made in the paper. We won't react on the content.”
“We are satisfied with the direction we've chosen since the beginning of the new management and with the way we perform.”
“We will obey the rules of the sport and comply with what's agreed with our sponsor Rabobank. We will stick to our policy of zero tolerance and to get to the top with young Dutch talent."
The new management referred to in the statement took over the team in 2007/2008 in the wake of Michael Rasmussen’s Tour de France expulsion. Harold Knebel was appointed the new chairman of Team Rabobank's Board of Directors, with De Rooy resigning. Since then the team have made several steps to improve their image and ethics.
In 2009 and 2010 the team published their anti-doping test records, while Knebel was vocal in his assessment that rider bans should be increased for high profile cases. However the team continues to be haunted by its past. The HumanPlasma case rubbles on, with several former Rabobank riders having been questioned and linked to the investigation.