Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Look to the future, forget the past

Interesting report in Cyclingnews today...about Bjarne Riis and allegations about EPO and other drug use in 1996... now I won't say what I don't know but Riis did do very well that year (especially in Le Tour) and held his young lieutenant (Ullrich) back in 2nd place. Riis was 7th the following year (Ullrich 1st) and retired shortly thereafter, I recall, having never reached the top step again; although his more recent days as team CSC boss has brought some vicarious podium glory. Riis had a string of high placings previously, including back in the Indurain days.

Anyway, here's the piece from CN... can you tell me what he (reportedly) didn't say?

Riis responds to doping allegations

Team CSC boss Bjarne Riis has brushed off allegations from former Team Telekom soigneur Jef D'hondt that he used EPO and other doping products to win the 1996 Tour de France. The allegations were made on Belgian TV program Panorama on Sunday evening and claimed, among other things, that "Riis had a hematocrit of 64 at one time during the Tour," caused by the use of EPO.

"I have never had a particularly close relation with Jef D'hondt and he has no validation for the allegations he is making," said Riis in a statement released on Monday evening. "There will always be someone out there trying to make money by talking about the past and in my opinion that is probably what he is trying to do here.

"This is probably not the first nor the last time these kinds of stories surface," he continued. "To me, it's all in the past and I do not wish to be held accountable every time someone finds it interesting to bring up some ten-year-old story. I truly believe the future is much more important than the past. I want to be judged on the work I'm doing with my team today, and the results we achieve - that is what's important to me."

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