Lund: ‘Riis has a very big problem’ if link to Fuentes is proven
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Monday, September 03, 2012

Lund: ‘Riis has a very big problem’ if link to Fuentes is proven

by VeloNation Press at 8:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Danish Cycling Union chairman concerned about Hamilton’s statements in new book

Bjarne RiisClaims by Tyler Hamilton that Bjarne Riis sent him to Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes could land the former CSC team owner in deep water, according to a top cycling official.

Danish Cycling Union chairman Tom Lund has said that he is waiting for confirmation, but that he is concerned by reports of what Hamilton wrote in his new book, The Secret Race.

“I can only say that if there will be any proof of a link between Bjarne Riis and Fuentes, then Bjarne Riis has a very, very big amount of explaining to do,” Lund told Sporten.dk. “I can not say anything about the consequences right now, because I have not read the book, and this is a case of allegations.”

However he is clear the consequences will be severe if Riis encouraged riders on his team to use banned products. “Now we know of course that Tyler Hamilton and Bjarne Riis both have economized with the truth earlier,” he said. “In DCU we would like to comment on things, but we do it only on the basis of facts. This situation is so extraordinary, that I will say; Bjarne Riis has a very big problem, if it can be proved that there is a direct link between him and Fuentes.”

Hamilton competed with the team in 2002 and 2003. He finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia on the first of those seasons, then the following year won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie. He also took a solo stage victory in the Tour de France plus fourth overall.

Riis won the Tour in 1996 and, after his retirement in 1999, went into team management. He currently owns the Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank squad. In 2007 he admitted to doping during his career.

In his book, Hamilton admits to doping with the US Postal Service team and talks about a system of coordinated doping there. He implicates Lance Armstrong as playing a major role in that, and also says the Texan gave him EPO. When Hamilton left the team prior to the 2003 season, he said that Riis sent him to Fuentes, who helped with a doping programme.

Hamilton left the team for Phonak in 2004 and tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion in the Vuelta a España. He also had a positive A sample after the Olympic time trial, which he won, but incorrect storage of the B sample enabled to keep the medal.

Banned for two years, he denied doping but then last year came clean and said he’d return the medal.

Riis rejected Hamilton’s claims last week. “I can absolutely deny that this is the case. It is simply not true,” he told the Ritzau news agency. “I do not know Fuentes. I have never met him.”

Fuentes ran into trouble in 2006 when the Operacion Puerto investigation broke, exposing his doping network. A number of big-name riders were implicated, including Hamilton. However then-CSC captain Ivan Basso was also snared, and there were suggestions that Fuentes’ codenames related to several other CSC riders.

Frank Schleck was also linked via a payment of €7000 to the doctor; he claimed it was for training advice only, and was ultimately not sanctioned.

Basso and several others on the team had been coached by Riis’ former trainer, Luigi Cecchini. The Italian had also worked with Hamilton when he was part of the team.

The Secret Race will be released on Wednesday, with Lund, the DCU and Riis himself amongst those keen to get an early copy.

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