The Netherlands should put pressure on its European partners to develop a EU approach to tackle doping in sport, Christian Democrat MP Joop Atsma said on TV programme Nova on Tuesday.
Atsma, a member of the board at the international cycling organisation UCI, was responding to the latest doping scandal to hit the Tour de France cycle race.
In particular, the EU should make it illegal to be found with or encourage the use of banned substances, Atsma said. ‘The athletes themselves are severely punished if they are caught… but the doctors and the others who administer the drugs get away with it,’ he said.
The Netherlands introduced jail sentences for people caught with performance-enhancing drugs five years ago.
Meanwhile, Rabobank has no plans to ditch lead rider Michael Rasmussen from its team, despite the controversy over his missed doping controls, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday.
Rabobank cycling team manager Theo de Rooij said yesterday he could guarantee there were ‘no doubts’ about the Danish cyclist. Without a positive doping test, neither he nor the bank saw any reason to meet French demands and drop him, De Rooij was reported as saying.
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