Ex-Rabobank doctor Leinders said to have supplied doping products to Leipheimer
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ex-Rabobank doctor Leinders said to have supplied doping products to Leipheimer

by Shane Stokes at 8:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Belgian reportedly named in American’s affidavit, other former Rabobank riders accused

Levi LeipheimerFormer Rabobank doctor Geert Leinders is once again in the spotlight after the Dutch newspaper NRC said that he provided Levi Leipheimer and others with doping products during his time with the team.

The publication bases part of its information on a copy of the USADA report on the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service investigation and, specifically, on the evidence given by Levi Leipheimer about his career.

In that affidavit, Leipheimer talks about his introduction to doping, his use of banned substances with the US Postal Service team and then his actions after leaving the squad. “I continued to use EPO while with Rabobank in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and was also assisted in using it by Rabobank team doctor [Other 8] (name redacted – ed.) from whom I purchased EPO,” he stated.

According to NRC, it has obtained a version of the affidavit in which that redacted name is not obscured, and states that it was Leinders.

It is thought that slightly different versions of the USADA investigation testimony have been sent to officials with jurisdiction over those implicated in the report so that they can investigate the allegations and take disciplinary action where necessary.

NRC also quotes an unnamed insider as saying that Leinders oversaw doping on the team. The Belgian himself denies the allegation. “As a team doctor, I have never used products or methods on the doping list,” he said.

NRC also states that other Rabobank riders were involved in doping, including receiving banned blood transfusions in Austria, and that Leinders accompanied riders on the trips.

Michael Boogerd, Thomas Dekker, Denis Mensjov and Michael Rasmussen are amongst those who have been named as receiving transfusion, and were clients of doping supplier Stefan Matschiner.

Following Bernard Kohl’s disqualification from the 2008 Tour de France, the latter admitted that he worked with Kohl and helped him to use banned products.

Boogerd has long denied the use of performance enhancing substances and said that he didn’t meet Matschiner. According to NRC, he now concedes meeting Matschiner and also paying him money. However he claims this was for vitamins alone.

Leinders’ role in Rabobank and move to Sky:

Leinders remained in the background for several years but that changed in May when former Rabobank team manager Theo de Rooij admitted that doping was tolerated on the team until 2007, saying that it was a ‘deliberate decision by the medical staff.’ Leinders was the chief doctor at the time.

De Rooij was fired after the Rasmussen affair and became more strict about trying to run a clean team. Leinders then left Rabobank in July 2009, citing dissatisfaction with the team’s management.

He was then signed up by Team Sky in late 2010, and worked with its riders from that point on and in the buildup to this year’s Tour.

De Rooij’s statement turned the spotlight on Leinders and led to Sky being criticised by some for his appointment. Team principal Dave Brailsford said that the team employed the doctor following widespread illnesses suffered by the team in the 2010 Vuelta, plus the death from a virus of one of the soigneurs, Txema Gonzalez.

He denied there was anything sinister in his signing, but conceded that there was a ‘reputational risk’ to the team. More recently he admitted that employing Leinders was a mistake and said that he would no longer work with the team.


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