- Dec 17, 2003
JohnDDD said:What I find hard to believe is that Bjarne Riis is actually trying to be clean these days. I mean the guy rode with all the big doping teams like Ariostea and Gewiss and his alleged nickname was Mr. 60%. I've heard they had to wake him up in the middle of the night just to keep his heart from stopping because his blood was so thick.
Yes, rumours, I know, but probably not without some truth to it. Back in 1996 Riis was riding with Ullrich and there has been a former professional who has accused both Riis and Ullrich of taking dope. Of course, this was kind of standard in those days, but Riis still seemed like one of the big dopers.
Now the name of Riis protegé Ivan Basso appears on a list together with Riis former team mate, Jan Ullrich.
Seems like these guys keep running into each other.
The biggest problem is that the team bosses still can't be trusted. First of course Manolo Saiz, who has been doping his riders for more than 10 years. It's not a coincidence he made time trials his speciality, which are perfectly fit for blood doping!
Guys like Dufaux, Zülle and Neil Stephens - all Festina 98 - used to ride for him. But also Erik Breukink, team boss of Rabobank, an excellent time trialist and suspected in the 1991 PDM doping affaire, and Johan Bruyneel, now the boss of the already famous Discovery Channel team!
Then of course there is Patrick Lefévre, team boss of Quick-Step and former boss of Mapei. Mapei had dopers like Beltran, Cioni, Museeuw, Nardello, Olano, Rominger, Tafi and Vandenbroucke.
Now most of these riders are gone, but these team bosses are still there. Lefévre LOOKS like he's making a real effort against doping, and also Breukink seems honest and hoping for a clean sport. But who tells me we can trust these people? Nobody's ever come clean about the past, when the entire peloton was doping, and now all of sudden these guys seem the ones to be rooting for a clean sport.
In a way it's wonderful that there might be a realistic chance people like this have come to deeper insights into the true meaning of sport and that they might really have changed their ways. On the other hand, it's hard for me to trust Riis when he appears to be so anti-dope and when Lefévre and Museeuw deny doping allegations from the past.