Former top Dutch cyclist Michael Boogerd has admitted doping from 1997 to the end of his career in 2007 in an interview to be aired on Wednesday. The 40-year-old, who won two stages of the Tour de France in 1996 and 2002, admitted using the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), cortisone, as well as receiving blood transfusions. He is the eighth cyclist from the former Rabobank team to admit doping, state broadcaster NOS said ahead of the Boogerd interview being broadcast on Wednesday evening.
“It was for periods, mostly during training, in preparation for competitions. I also rode the Tour de France often enough clean,” Boogerd told NOS. He declined to go into detail over a possible doping network, adding: “I speak for myself and not for others.”
Danish cyclist and fellow Rabobank rider Michael Rasmussen, who quit the 2007 Tour de France when he was wearing the race leader’s yellow jersey, admitted in January that he had used banned drugs between 1998 and 2010. Rasmussen, who won four individual stages on the Tour de France, said he was ready to accept any ban he risked by coming clean, a decision he said had left him a “relieved man”. Rasmussen was thrown off the 2007 Tour de France by his then-team Rabobank while wearing the yellow jersey for lying about his whereabouts the previous month when he was being sought for doping tests.
Rabobank, which had sponsored a professional cycling team for 17 years, announced in October that it would sever its ties with the team, claiming the sport had been irrevocably damaged by a succession of doping cases, notably the devastating Lance Armstrong affair. After the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stripped Armstong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life, Rabobank were among the first to react.