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Second witness comes forward on Rabobank doping

Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007

Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Following last month's extensive report which included information from an anonymous former Rabobank rider about the team's past doping, Dutch website published a second anonymous rider's anecdotes, which referred to Michael Boogerd and Peter Luttenberger.

Boogerd has refused to comment on the doping allegations, which claim that the former Dutch champion and several of his teammates visited an Austrian clinic for blood doping.

The previous anonymous rider stated that the team made the decision to engage in doping in 1999, but the new information indicates that there were questionable activities going on earlier in the 90s.

"We flew to Spain for the first training camp and there was a discussion between Boogerd and management team," the anonymous former-teammate stated. "Boogerd was panicked because his hematocrit was only 37."

Riders were at the time allowed to have a maximum value of 50, and as has become clear through the US Anti-Doping Agency's reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and other sources, many riders used blood doping to raise their hematocrit to the maximum allowed limit.

"'My races are coming up, but I cannot race with a hematocrit of 37!'," the rider recounted Boogerd's comments."Dr. Geert Leinders had to use to reassure him that everything would be fine. Team boss Theo de Rooij was there and participated in the conversation."

De Rooij, who is the subject of a wrongful dismissal suit by Michael Rasmussen, has denied direct knowledge of doping within the team. He said last year that before 2007, riders were responsible for determining themselves "how far he would go in the medical field.”

The rider said he roomed with Peter Luttenberger, who rode with the team in 1997 and 1998, and saw him using a centrifuge to check his blood values in the bathroom.

"I shared a room with Peter Luttenberger. He retired at some point to the bathroom, and I was shut out. But I had to pee and after a few minutes I decided to just go into the bathroom. He was using a centrifuge to check his blood."

The former rider also said that Luttenberger was not the only one on the team with such a machine.

Rabobank sponsored the cycling team from 1996 until 2012 when the bank decided to remove its name from the team following the year's doping scandals, which included testimony by former Rabobank rider Levi Leipheimer, who confessed to doping while on the team.

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