Riis speaks out

Team manager Bjarne Riis

Team manager Bjarne Riis (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

At the beginning of August, Team CSC decided not to take legal action against former CSC rider Jörg Jaksche, who had risen strong allegations against Bjarne Riis in the now infamous Spiegel interview. Riis, Jaksche claimed, had been aware of doping practices on the team. Riis did not want to let the issue go completely without comment; Katharina Schulz of Cyclingnews takes a look at a recent Danish paper B.T. in an exclusive interview.

"The man is out of line," Riis stated in regards to the allegations made by Jaksche in the Spiegel interview. "It was really hard for me when this thing started. Because I thought it was so grotesque. The year before I had not renewed Michael Rasmussen's contract based on something that wasn't even a real suspicion because I wanted everything to be in order," Riis told the paper. As it has become known now, Riis had decided to send home Michael Rasmussen in 2002 just before the Giro della Provincia de Lucca because of irregularities in his blood profile.

Jaksche's report shows him in a somewhat different light, amongst other things, he describes having sat in a ski lift with Riis and talked about Jaksche's race calendar but also about what could be done so that he would be able to deliver the goods. Jaksche was getting anxious because riders were being tested for EPO and he was afraid of not being able to get up to scratch anymore.

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