Dutch rider Thomas Dekker has confirmed that he is looking for a new contract after a fallout with his Rabobank team over alleged “abnormal blood values” in a UCI test earlier this year.
Dekker’s agent, Jacques Hanegraaf, told the Dutch news service ANP that both sides decided it would be “mutually beneficial” for the rider to look for another team.
The 23-year-old Dekker, under contract until 2009, has been given permission to openly seek another contract. Dekker, once regarded as the Netherlands’ greatest young talent, was left off of Rabobank’s Tour de France team this year reportedly due to concerns raised by the UCI regarding “abnormal blood values” at this year’s Tour de Suisse. Dekker also was not selected to represent the Netherlands at the Olympics in Beijing.
According to ANP, team officials said Dekker exacerbated his own problems by refusing to show a complete medical dossier to Rabobank team doctors.
Some news reports mentioned that Dekker — winner of Tirreno-Adriatico (2006) and the Tour of Romandie (2007) — was poised to sign with the U.S.-based Garmin-Chipotle squad, but team manager Jonathan Vaughters said there was no truth to the rumor.
“It’s just a rumor,” said Vaughters. “Right now there are no talks and there is no contract.”
Hanegraaf declined to say with which teams his client was speaking, but said that he remained confident Dekker would have a new contract before the end of the year.