x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Former Tour de France rider Michael Boogerd admits doping for a decade

Cycling's beleaguered image received another blow after the former Rabobank cyclist who won two stages of the Tour de France, admitted using performance enhancing drugs and blood transfusions.

Michael Boogerd during his time with Radobank.
Michael Boogerd during his time with Radobank.

Former Tour de France cyclist Michael Boogerd has admitted using performance enhancing drugs for a decade in an interview to be aired today.

The 40-year-old, who won two stages of the Tour de France in 1996 and 2002, admitted using the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), cortisone, as well as receiving blood transfusions.

The Dutchman is the eighth cyclist from the former Rabobank team to admit doping, state broadcaster NOS said ahead of the interview being shown.

"It was for periods, mostly during training, in preparation for competitions. I also rode the Tour de France often enough clean," Boogerd told NOS.

He declined to go into detail over a possible doping network, adding: "I speak for myself and not for others."

Michael Rasmussen, the Danish cyclist and Boogerd's fellow Rabobank rider, admitted in January that he had used banned drugs between 1998 and 2010.

Rasmussen, who won four individual stages on the Tour de France, said he was ready to accept any ban he risked by coming clean, a decision he said had left him a "relieved man".

Rasmussen was thrown off the 2007 Tour de France by his then-team Rabobank while wearing the yellow jersey for lying about his whereabouts the previous month when he was being sought for doping tests.

Rabobank, which had sponsored a professional cycling team for 17 years, announced in October that it would sever its ties with the team, claiming the sport had been irrevocably damaged by a succession of doping cases, notably the devastating Lance Armstrong affair.

After the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stripped Lance Armstong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life, Rabobank were among the first to react.

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