The fall and rise of Thomas Dekker - Podcast

Dutchman discusses his journey from hyped youngster to doping, destruction and, finally, redemption

Welcome to a special episode of the Cyclingnews podcast. We're in the Netherlands to meet former professional cyclist and admitted doper, Thomas Dekker.

The former Rabobank rider shot to fame at an early age and when he turned professional he was one of the most hyped youngsters in Europe. He looked on course to have a glorious career.

However, early on in his career Dekker was faced with difficult choices over doping. The decision to take performance enhancing drugs sent Dekker on a downward spiral - from injecting vitamins to eventually entering into the murky world of blood doping and EPO.

Dekker was eventually caught and banned and, although he made a comeback with Slipstream Sports, he never fulfilled the early promise he once showed. He retired in March 2015 after a brave but unsuccessful attempt at the UCI Hour record – his career over before it truly began.

During a visit to his native home, Cyclingnews sat down with Dekker at his parents' home just outside Amsterdam. Dekker's recent book The Descentwas recently translated into English.

We hear from Dekker on how he moved towards doping, the lives he affected by his poor choices, how he spiralled out of control and into a world of debauchery and isolation before he eventually found redemption and a chance to free himself of his past by telling the truth.

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