Klöden strikes back

Klöden douses himself with water, a common sight today.

Klöden douses himself with water, a common sight today. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Andreas Klöden of Team Astana is fuming about being named in the German doping investigation. Press reports have said that his former team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz named him as being present on a trip to the Freiburg clinic prior to the 2006 Tour de France where Sinkewitz admitted to blood doping.

"From a distance I have followed a discussion in Germany, which I can barely stand. It is shocking, how groundless speculation arises, which puts a burden on individuals and their families," Klöden said on his website.

Last week the the independent commission investigating the Freiburg University Clinic and doping at Team Telekom/T-Mobile issued a report, in which Klöden's name appeared in one sentence, "A further bill from March 9, 2000, referred to a medication delivery worth 1000 Deutsche Mark to Frau Bettina Jurkat, the then-girlfriend and now wife of Andreas Klöden." Speculation among the German media and public has equated this with a shipment of doping products.

"There were no concrete doping charges made against me," the 32 year-old noted. "But in spite of that, this one sentence was enough to excite the fantasy of many. Did none of them see that the commission's report contained no comment as to what was in the delivery? Or was it just easier not to ask about such facts?"

He continued, "Every member of the T-Mobile Team and many other athletes will be able to confirm that in our sports medicine care, packages containing legal medications, vitamins or nutritional supplements were routinely sent to athletes. It was nothing unusual to receive a package from Freiburg. The conclusion that this delivery to me was connected with doping is simply false."

Klöden then went on to explain the circumstances of that package. "The truth is that obviously a package was addressed to my wife on March 8, 2000, because from March 4 to 13, I was far away, riding for my team in Paris-Nice – which I just happened to win. Because my wife was working in Berlin at the time, she picked up the package from the post office somewhat later – and so much for comments about 'express delivery' or 'refrigerated medications.'

"It is too bad that we cyclists have to put up with this speculation, and that so much of it goes over an acceptable limit. I am also astounded at how casually patient information is publicly misinterpreted. I have asked my attorneys to keep an eye on further developments and to protect my rights."

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