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Three of five riders said to have used a cortisone product
Michael Rasmussen has allegedly told anti-doping authorities that three of the five members of the Danish national road team doped at the 2004 Athens Olympics, according to a Danish media report. The five-man team consisted of Rasmussen, Frank Hoj, Bo Hamburger, Nicki Sorensen and Lars Michaelsen.
After making his confession that he had doped throughout much of his career, Rasmussen has been questioned by the WADA and anti-doping authorities in Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States.
Politiken.de reported that Rasmussen explained that one of the members smuggled the doping products into the Olympic village in Athens, by putting it in the battery compartment of a music player.
The five riders shared an apartment in the Olympic Village. Politiken.dk said that “At one point, it was asked if anyone had anything that could get them to run a little stronger. One confirmed that he had, and then injected three of the five riders with a cortisone product.” Only those three (unnamed) riders are said to have been doped.
"Wow. We must take the opportunity to find out if it is true, for it sounds crazy, if it occurred, "said DCU's director Jesper Worre, head of the Danish Cycling Union. "We were not present during interrogations by Michael Rasmussen and therefore have no knowledge of what has been said.”
It was not said which of the riders were involved, and it was not reported whether Rasmussen was one of the three.
Sorensen is the only one of the five still riding, and is with Saxo-Tinkoff. He told sporten.dk, “I am really uncomfortable with the allegations that appeared in the media about this with the Olympics. I just want to say that it has nothing to do with me. I also think it's hard, because I do not know if the accusations are directed to me.”
Michaelsen is also with Saxo-Tinkoff, now serving as a sport director. “I think it's hard to comment on this story, since I have no idea whether the accusations are directed against me,” he said. “I can just say that I do not know about such a situation from the Olympics in 2004.”
Hoj told Ekstrabladet.dk, “I cannot talk about it,” but went on to add, "There's nothing to say. There are rumors that there is someone who might have said something in a confidential process. And it is not even a rumor that has been confirmed by Michael Rasmussen.”
Hamburger directly addressed the question, denying he was involved. “If three of the riders have taken doping, I can only say that it was not me,” he said. He has just been named as sport director for Team Christina Watches-Onfone.
He doesn't remember that specific conversation, but “Of course I can not deny that there has been talk of doping on the team.,” he said. “But you can talk about doping from many angles. It was something we talked about, even back then.”