JAKSCHE LIFTS LID ON OPERACION PUERTO
German rider Jorg Jaksche has earned himself the dubious honour of being the first cyclist implicated in Operación Puerto to admit to blood doping.
In an interview due to be published soon in the weekly German magazine Der Spiegel Jaksche gave what he calls the full story on how, where and when he took banned drugs provided for him by the Madrid laboratory at the centre of cycling’s biggest doping scandal.
A former member of numerous top teams – CSC, Astana in its shorlived Spanish ‘format’ in the second half of 2006, Liberty Seguros, T-Mobile, ONCE and Polti – and the winner of Paris-Nice in 2004, Jaksche said he became a client of Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor who ran the Madrid laboratory, early in 2005.
In January of that year, Jaksche rejoined Liberty Seguros, the team he had raced for from 2001 to 2003 when it was still backed by ONCE. He had two codenames when using Fuentes ‘services’, ‘Bella’ and ‘Numero 20’. Bella was the name of Jaksche’s dog.
According to Jaksche’s lawyer, the German rider’s aim by talking to Der Spiegel is to “cast light on the whole doping milieu and who is responsible, not just to confess.” To that end, Jaksche, who said in the interview that he had used banned substances almost ever since he turned pro in 1997, is apparently willing to collaborate with the WADA and the UCI.
“Going to see Fuentes was like going for an oil-change.” Jaksche - suspended by his current squad, Tinkoff, in May - was quoted as saying by Der Spiegel. “To fill a bag of blood you need 15 minutes. To put it back takes double the time.”
“I think it’s important for the future of the sport that someone comes out and says, ‘ok, this is how it happens.’”