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Tour de France: Bjarne Riis Pre Tour Statement
 
By Staff
Date: 7/5/2007
Tour de France: Bjarne Riis Pre Tour Statement
 

Tour de France: Bjarne Riis Statement
Team CSC's Bjarne Riis steps down as Directeur Sportif during the Tour de France. Der Spiegel gets it wrong.

Team CSC Press Release:
In connection with the debate, which has taken place over the last few days, Bjarne Riis would like to make the following comment:

”First of all I would like to say that I strongly object to the accusations made in the interview with Jörg Jaksche by the German magazine, Der Spiegel.

I have not had any knowledge of, nor have I encouraged the use of illegal substances by Team CSC riders. I trust our doctors one hundred percent and my riders and staff can confirm that we have always taken an uncompromising stand in relation to doping. My conscience is clean, but if Jörg Jaksche has another view on the matter, he needs to present documentation in proof of his allegations.

I have replied at length to the accusations that have been made, but Der Spiegel decided not to print my replies.

I am upset by the fact that my team, my staff, my riders and especially our sponsors are confronted by these allegations on a daily basis, and I am also upset that I have become the target of such accusations following my public confession. I came forward in order to wipe the slate clean, not to claim the responsibility for other people’s mistakes. They alone have that responsibility.

It bothers me a great deal that the ground breaking and sincere work Team CSC is doing to fight doping has to be compromised by speculations such as these. The project does not deserve that, because I know we are fighting harder than anyone else to try and rid the sport of doping and my riders and our sponsors deserve credit for that.

There has not been a moment’s peace from the press since I came forward. Of course I appreciate the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion on these matters and I respect that. But I have no wish for my team – which has nothing to do with the mistakes in my past – to become a target on false grounds. My riders work hard to fulfill our mutual ambitions and like always they are very focused ahead of Tour de France.

At the moment, I am surrounded by so much turbulence and I do not wish for this to have a negative effect on the focus or in any way influence the atmosphere surrounding the team during such an important race as the Tour de France. For me personally, this has not been easy and I feel that I have come to the limits of my own energy.

For the next three weeks the riders and Team CSC have the right to concentrate fully on Tour de France, and the debate regarding me and the allegations made against me will have to be taken elsewhere. I want to fight to clean my name and I want to find the energy to do that. With that in mind I have chosen not to be actively involved in this year’s edition of the Tour apart from the obligations I have towards my sponsors.

It has been a very difficult decision, but it is mine alone and is not made because of pressure from the outside, nor does it in any way reflect on whether there is any truth to the allegations.

I know that I have a very competent and extremely motivated team for this race and I am confident that my sports directors will do a brilliant job leading our riders,” said Bjarne Riis.

Team CSC Medical Staff Responds to Charges:
The medical staff of Team CSC has always been working in an ethical, professional way.

In case of illness or injury’s we try to help our riders, by treating them according to the rules of the UCI (eg. medication, physiotherapy, etc. )

No products were used that are on the Prohibited List.

The use of glucocorticosteriods for injury’s ( local infiltrations) and beta – 2 agonists ( by inhalation ) is part of our treatment-possibilities.We only  use these when that treatment is  medically appropriate and the use of alternative medications, not on the Prohibited List, would be unsatisfactory for this condition.

In those cases, the UCI was always informed, the TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) was signed by the cyclist and one of our medical doctors.

We support the new UCI ProTour Anti-Doping Programme “100% against doping” completely.

Dr. Joost De Maeseneer
Dr. Piet De Moor
Dr. Piet Danneels
 


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