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'New' 1996 doping charges against T-Mobile team doctors

T-Mobile team doctors Andreas Schmidt and Lothar Heinrich with spokesman Christian Frommert, director Rolf Aldag and manager Bob Stapleton at the presentation of their 2007 anti-doping program

T-Mobile team doctors Andreas Schmidt and Lothar Heinrich with spokesman Christian Frommert, director Rolf Aldag and manager Bob Stapleton at the presentation of their 2007 anti-doping program (Image credit: Susan Westemeyer)

T-Mobile team doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid gave Team Telekom riders, including Jan Ullrich, EPO injections during the 1996 Tour de France, former soigneur Jeff D'Hondt has alleged in his soon-to-be-published book.

Last month, D'Hondt claimed on Belgian television that the team doctors provided EPO and other doping products to the team riders during the Tour, including to the eventual Tour winner Bjarne Riis.

In next week's edition of German Spiegel magazine, excerpts of D'Hondt's book will claim that "The riders wanted it, even when team doctor Andreas Schmid was against it." He also specifically claimed that Heinrich personally injected the riders with the banned substance.

T-Mobile team manager Bob Stapleton had previously defended the team doctors, but seems to be changing his tune following the latest allegations. "If the claims about the Freiburg University prove to be true, then we will look for an alternative (source of medical care)", he said. T-Mobile communications director Christian Frommert told the dpa press agency, "We will speak with them, and if there is action to be taken, we will take it how and when we feel is appropriate."

A University Clinic spokeswoman said in March that "The accusations do not have any basis." Earlier this month, Heinrich denied the charges, calling D'Hondt's comments "inexplicable."

Schmid and Heinrich are also in charge of the team's new antidoping program.