Steven Rooks, runner-up to Pedro Delgado at the 1988 Tour de France, has admitted using to prohibited blood booster EPO during his career. He said that he used EPO after 1989 in a book entitled "Het laatste geel" [The last yellow - ed.] published this week by Dutch journalist Marc Smeets.
"Yes, I've taken EPO. It was necessary to finish high up in the classification," Rooks said.
The Dutchman won the mountains jersey, finished second overall and won stage 12 to L'Alpe d'Huez at the 1988 Tour. In 1989, he came seventh in the overall classification and won another mountain stage.
Rooks' other career highlights include Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1983 and the Amstel Gold Race in 1986. From 1986 to 1989, he rode for the PDM team, later for Panasonic, Buckler, Festina and TVM.
Two other former riders of the same generation, fellow Dutch men Gert Jakobs and Matthieu Hermans, have also admitted using the drug. Hermans also won a stage in the 1989 Tour, stage 11 from Luchon to Blagnac, and ten stages of the Vuelta a España.
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