Rominger on doping

Matthias Kessler (Astana)

Matthias Kessler (Astana) (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

Former rider and current rider agent Tony Rominger has a doping problem: two of his clients, Matthias Kessler and Patrik Sinkewitz have both tested positive recently for testosterone, and his other Astana clients Alexander Vinokourov and Andreas Klöden have been mentioned in connection with the UCI's "Men in Black" investigation.

As to the two positive tests, "I can't understand it," Rominger said in an interview with He noted that "I can't do anything more" for Kessler. "He'll have to take care of his own defence, he has taken Herr Lehner as an attorney. If is he is acquitted, then we will surely work together again. If not, then it's all over."

He expected Sinkewitz' B-sample to also test positive. "They almost all say at first, I didn't take anything, I didn't do anything! I don't know what I should believe."

The positive tests for his clients aren't good for him ("There is surely better advertising than this"), but "I see the Sinkewitz case as damage to the image of T-Mobile primarily. They said that they have everything under control with their internal anti-doping program. The team management can do a lot, but they can't control everything. It is impossible to control what the guys do at home."

Rominger responded angrily to charges that Vinokourov and Klöden were involved in the "Men in Black" investigation. "That took a lot of nerve, to write things like that about Klöden. He has never trained in southern France and has never worn a black jersey for training. Right now it is hunting season. Too often, people write first and research later. And Alexander Vinokourov is contractually obligated to ride every day in his team jersey. The people who make the controls recognize the riders, even if they wear black jerseys. That was total nonsense and unnecessary and led to a lot of speculation.

"I am very disappointed by cycling," he concluded. "We thought we had a new beginning. After the Festina scandal, we thought that cycling was going the right way. The Floyd Landis doping case has done the most damage. That was the lowest point for me. The Puerto affair would be so easy to solve. The documents are there and the blood bags are there, the riders have all agreed to do a DNA test. I don't know what they are waiting for. We should try to close the case and make a new start."

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