THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Sharp) has promised to spill the beans on the doping culture in the sport and name names, he announced on Wednesday.
Dekker, who served a two-year ban for using the blood booster EPO and made no secret of the fact, is ready to cooperate fully with the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority, he said in a statement posted on the website of his agent, SEG.
“I will testify and fully cooperate with the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority to help further clean the world of cycling. Therefore I choose to give the full extent of my knowledge, names, dates, and details,” Dekker said. “I will begin this process and hope that it will make it easier for ex-colleagues and ex-teammates to come forward and help the sport.”
He explained: “As member of Team Garmin-Sharp and their policy and values, as (a) Dutch rider and member of the Dutch federation, as [an] ex-doper who served a two-year suspension and as [a] supporter of clean cycling: I announce that there are many details and people involved with my doping past.
“All of that, including the names of people who helped me will be given to the Anti-Doping Authority.”
The first meeting between Dekker and the Anti-Doping Authority is planned within the coming two weeks.
In a recent interview with the newspaper NRC, Dekker revealed he had also had blood transfusions in 2007 when he was riding for the Rabobank team.
He had already admitted using EPO and was suspended for two years in 2009. Dekker provided a positive sample in December 2007, but was not caught until that sample was retested in 2009.
Dekker made a slow return to the WorldTour with Garmin, signing a contract on the eve of the team presentation in late 2011.
He explained he had begun using EPO in 2006 with the help of the Rabobank team doctors.
“It was very easy to be influenced, doping was widespread at that time,” he said. “No-one spoke out against it, doping was a way of life for many of my teammates and colleagues and for me, too. Doping was part of the job. I thought blood transfusions were the road to success as all the big names were doing it.”
Rabobank withdrew sponsorship of its professional team in October in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, calling the sport “sick” to its core.