Cycling doping scandal involved Rabobank team, says witness
Rabobank, the biggest sponsor of professional cycling in the Netherlands, has reacted to claims that its team was involved in doping in the mid-2000s by issuing a statement reiterating its ‘zero tolerance’ stance.
American rider Levi Leipheimer told the US Anti-Doping Agency he had used the banned substance epo while part of the Rabobank team between 2002 and 2004. The claims are made in a USADA report into the use of banned substances by seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
Leipheimer told the inquiry he had bought epo from the Rabobank doctor named as Other-8 and he was aware another Rabobank team member, named as Rider-14, also used epo. ‘On several occasions we discussed his epo use,’ Leipheimer said.
In its statement, Rabobank said the evidence given to the USADA confirms that cycling as a sport is going through a difficult period, due to its past.
In 2007, Rabobank took steps to increase supervision of the team, the statement said. ‘Rabobank is very concerned about professional cycling. The results of this report are not good for cycling as a sport and Rabobank sincerely regrets this.’
MPs have urged sports minister Edith Schippers to comment on the claims, saying the allegations about the involvement of the Dutch team should be investigated.
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