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Anti-doping fighter Bjarne Riis

Team manager Bjarne Riis

Team manager Bjarne Riis (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

Bjarne Riis, the first and only Danish winner of the Tour de France in 1996, is now on the fore-front of one of the most stringent anti-doping programs in the sport. The general manager of CSC, who recently admitted to taking EPO, has implemented tough measuress within his team.

Jörg Jaksche, who gave a long interview to the German magazine Spiegel was asked about this apparent discrepancy and answered that "Bjarne has probably realized that something needs to change, otherwise the sport will get destroyed."

Pat McQuaid, the president of the UCI, called the program "solid, independent and transparent." And more importantly he points out that CSC makes a real effort to change the culture and that the riders do not feel the need or the pressure anymore to dope.

Since last December, 28 riders have submitted 225 blood tests and 198 urine controls, which averages to 15 tests a person. Samples are analysed at the WADA-accredited lab at the university hospital Bispebjerg in Copenhagen. CSC recently published the data of their riders.

What Jaksche was impressed with is that Riis uses some of his own money. "He put in 500,000 euro this year and that is his personal money, not the money of a company like is the case with T-Mobile."

While people are impressed by his efforts, Anne Gripper, who runs the UCI's anti-doping programme, also points out that he "lied for eleven years." Gripper along with Mario Zorzoli, the UCI's doctor, are two of the few people who have the pass code to access the information and the results of the tests.

"Even the management of CSC and Bjarne Riis don't have that. I have the confidence that all the tests are sent to WADA and the UCI before being sent to CSC," explained Gripper.

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