MORE DOPING ACCUSATIONS IN BELGIUM
Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws continued to accuse the Quick Step team of doping on Wednesday, quoting an unidentified rider in the 2007 squad as saying both doping and social drugs were used in the team.
The rider claims that team manager Patrick Lefevere and team doctor Ivan Van Mol knew what goes on but that Lefevere used his charismatic character to convince everyone he works hard for the good of the sport.
Before flying to Qatar for the first race of his 2007 season, team leader Tom Boonen dismissed the accusations.
"I can't believe that one of my teammates has said this. I don't even believe that this person exists. Pretty much everything is lies, except that Van Mol is our doctor and Lefevere our manager,” Boonen told Belgian sports television channel Sporza.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in Patrick Lefevere: he’s my manager but also lot more than that. He spends a lot of time with his riders and wants a clean sport. People say there is no smoke without fire but smoke that comes from anonymous sources makes me laugh.”
Boonen also commented on Johan Museeuw’s surprise confessions.
“What he said doesn’t prove there is organised doping in the team. Johan has clearly admitted her made a mistake during his splendid career but it remains a splendid career.”
LEFEVERE PLANS LEGAL ACTION
Patrick Lefevere continued to threaten legal action and held meetings with his lawyers on Wednesday.
“I can prove that everything written about me is false. How? I can’t say yet because I don’t want to reveal my tactics. I’ve worked hard for cycling but that clearly doesn’t interest some people. What the anonymous rider is supposed to have said is pure gossip,” he said.
“It’s like we’ve gone back to the Wild West, when a poster was put on a tree saying wanted ‘dead or alive’. Apparently, someone wants to do the same thing with me but I can play the same game until life or death. I’ll either quit cycling or I’ll be stronger than ever after everything has clamed down.”