Van Moorsel denies using EPO ahead of Sydney Olympics

Former PDM doctor says he administered blood transfusions at Tour de France in 1988 and 1989

In an interview published in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant at the weekend, the Dutch doctor Peter Janssen claimed that he treated Leontien van Moorsel with EPO ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, where she won three gold medals. Van Moorsel has denied the allegation.

Janssen was previously the team doctor at PDM, and in the same interview, he said that he provided blood transfusions to riders on the team at the 1988 Tour de France.

Janssen worked for the team between 1986 and 1989 and said that he decided to offer blood transfusions after reading in a medical journal of Francesco Conconi's use of the practice as part of Francesco Moser's successful 1984 world hour record attempts. Blood transfusions were added to the IOC's banned list in 1986.

Janssen told De Volkskrant that he contacted a blood bank in Velp to store and freeze the blood of riders from the PDM team, including Gert-Jan Theunisse and Steven Rooks. He said that he transported the blood bags to France during the Tour, where the riders were administered with transfusions for the first time.

"For the first stage, they got one bag, in Nantes, and then on July 11, two in Strasbourg," Janssen told De Volkskrant, adding that he was watching on television from a holiday campsite when Rook and Theunisse placed first and second on l'Alpe d'Huez at the 1988 Tour.

"I was sitting at the campsite and I saw them riding on such a small television. I thought, 'Oh my god, what's happening here?' I was really looking forward to watching. I did not know it would make such a difference."

In 2013, De Volkskrant published extracts from the notebook of PDM soigneur Bertus Fok, which suggested that seven of the eight-man team at the 1988 Tour had used banned substances. Andy Bishop later told Cyclingnews that he was the clean rider on PDM in 1988.

Theunisse tested positive for testosterone on the 1988 Tour, but was back in the race a year later, where he won the king of the mountains title. Janssen said that he administered blood transfusions again on the 1989 Tour, and then moved to the Panasonic team with Rooks and Theunisse in 1990.

Contacted by De Volkskrant, Theunisse said that he had no need to respond to Janssen's statement.

Van Moorsel

In the wide-ranging interview, Janssen, who now lives in Thailand, implicated a number of riders in doping, including Leontien van Moorsel, who first visited his clinic in 2000. The Dutchwoman had made a successful return to cycling after suffering from an eating disorder, winning the world time trial title in both 1998 and 1999 to add to her road race titles from the early 1990s.

"She made an appointment because she sought guidance for her anorexia. She wanted her weight to be checked," Janssen said. "Leontien's husband, Michael Zijlaard, was always there. They came outside the office hours. I think they might have been six times. There was often a long time between, and at the last of those consultations it was then asked if it was possible to try a cure."

Janssen told De Volkskrant that he administered EPO to Van Moorsel in the spring of 2000, having purchased it on her behalf from a pharmacy in Deurne.

Van Moorsel denied using EPO when contacted by De Volkskrant, insisting that she had received only dietary and training advice from Janssen during their consultations.

"I was at Janssen's practice in the 1990s. Whether it was in the late 1990s, 2000 or 2001, he gave me advice on my diet and training plans," Van Moorsel told De Volkskrant. "I am very grateful to Dr. Janssen. He gave me the motivation when I made my comeback to believe in myself again. "

Janssen also claimed to have administered a blood transfusion to Eddy Bouwmans in 1993, though the Dutchman, best young rider at the 1992 Tour de France, denied the allegation when contacted by De Volkskrant. In 2013, Bouwmans admitted to receiving three injections of EPO from Janssen in 1994 but said that he did not recall receiving a blood transfusion the previous year.

Janssen remained in professional cycling until 2009, working with the BankGiro Loterij, Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil teams. He described providing a backdated TUE for cortisone for Aart Vierhouten after he won Profronde van Fryslan in 2006. "He said to the tester, 'I have had some cortisone, but I do not have a certificate yet'. So I did it late in the evening," Janssen said.

"For the sake of clarity, I had the certificate, it was still at home," Vierhouten told De Volkskrant.

De Volkskrant also reported Janssen's recollection of an exchange with BankGiro Loterij rider Lars Bak, now of Lotto Soudal, as he walked to doping control after winning the opening stage of the Tour of Luxembourg in 2004.

"I can remember that Lars Bak won the first stage of the Tour of Luxembourg in 2004. Very nice, but we walk to the control and he says in a light panic to me, 'I have used EPO. Goddamn it.' But that [the test] just went well," Janssen said.

In a statement to De Volkskrant, Bak denied that he had ever doped: "I'm 37 years of age, sixteen years a professional cyclist, and I've always loved and worked for a clean sport. This is very frustrating and incorrect; I have never taken prohibited substances."

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