By Katharina Schulz
In a statement to the Danish cycling page feltet.dk, Bjarne Riis, team manger of CSC, countered accusations by Jörg Jaksche. "I think it's inappropriate if Jaksche claims that I'm supposed to have warned him about coming out with his doping confessions. That's totally incorrect. On the contrary, I encouraged him to come forward and live up to his responsibility regarding the mistakes he himself has made."
"Furthermore, that this is supposed to have been a threat is definitely insulting and tells me that Jaksche either has a very bad sense of memory or deliberately chooses to twist the truth. It is correct that I told him about how difficult it would be to come back, and I was speaking from experience here, since I had been through the same only a short time before. That Jaksche still blames all sorts of other people for the mistakes he made himself is just so trivial. It is necessary that the problems in cycling are taken care of, and that's what I stand for."
What Riis refers to as his own experience is the fact that he himself confessed his doping tainted career in May and subsequently was struck from the result list of the 1996 Tour de France. His relations with the organisers haven't been very good since he told them they could come and pick up his yellow jersey from back then. The fact that he didn't attend the tour presentation last week was also attributed to this troubled relationship. CSC press officer Brian Nygaard has meanwhile disclaimed this interpretation.
"Riis Cycling got two invitations to the Tour presentation in Paris, and we could have sent whomever we wanted. Including Bjarne. It was his own decision not to be there, and had nothing to do with the fact that he wasn't invited," Nygaard told feltet.dk.