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Stanga rejects Jaksche's claims

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Gianluigi Stanga at 2000 Tour de France

Gianluigi Stanga at 2000 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Italian Sport Director Gianluigi Stanga in Milram car

Italian Sport Director Gianluigi Stanga in Milram car (Image credit: AFP)

In an official statement released by the team, Milram's Gianluigi Stanga called upon Jörg Jaksche to explain himself and his recent accusations. German rider Jaksche had confessed Saturday to using banned substances and practicing blood doping to enhance his performance in an exclusive interview with Der Spiegel.

"I have read, with bitterness and incredulity, the serious affirmations of Jörg Jaksche," read Stanga's statement.

Jaksche had said his doping program began in 1997 while competing for Team Polti at the Tour de Suisse. That's where he first tried EPO. He claimed Stanga was the one to introduce him to it and wanted to see to what substances Jaksche would respond.

Stanga described their relationship differently, saying they met 10 years ago but hardly talked. He said, the first year of their relationship, Jaksche was still in the military, but even after that, neither spoke the same language as the other.

Defending himself, Stanga said, "Those who know me - and I refer to those hundreds of riders who, in the course of my long career, have known me perfectly well, know that it is not my custom to interfere, for any reason, in medical issues. And it is not a matter of principle, but effectively a necessity, in as much as my training in medicine and drugs, is obviously null."

"Today I find myself in the depressing condition of having to defend myself, forced to guard my innocence and my image as a professional."

Stanga criticized Jaksche's recent comments saying the suspended Tinkoff rider "has nothing to lose and he'll play a game of massacre, one that doesn't produce a victory or any winners and turns the attention toward more attractive targets." He explained Jaksche's actions as a result of the rider having his back to the wall, with his reputation irredeemably smeared. He said Jaksche is executing a kamikaze maneuver.

Jaksche's revelations come soon after the German Cycling Federation announced Thursday it would prohibit the racer from contesting the German national championships. In May, Jaksche was suspended from racing by Tinkoff, which he had joined just one month earlier.

Jaksche had also admitted to starting a program of blood doping under the guidance of Spanish doctor Fuentes beginning in 2005. The blood bags with the name "Bella" on them, found in Fuentes' lab, were his.

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