Fresh doping claims cast cloud over Team Sky

LONDON • Team Sky faced fresh embarrassment from their employment of Geert Leinders after more revelations about the doctor's doping practices surfaced yesterday, as this year's Tour de France began.

In The Descent, serialised in The Times Magazine, Thomas Dekker, the former Rabobank rider who has served a two-year ban for doping, sets out the scale of drug-taking in the Dutch cycling team.

He noted the active involvement of Leinders, who went on to become Team Sky's medical consultant between 2010 and 2012.

Leinders is said to have knowingly administered a banned drug to stimulate cortisone production and advised using a saline drip to cover up a high level of red blood cells caused by abuse of erythropoietin (EPO). Dekker also talks of the team falsifying medical conditions to allow riders to take cortisone to lose weight, calling the system of therapeutic use exemptions "a sham".

Leinders, banned for life in 2015 by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, was employed for 80 days a year by Team Sky, who insisted that they did background checks.

The team's general manager Dave Brailsford was forced to subsequently admit the mistake, while insisting that Leinders did nothing untoward with the British team.

And their retired rider Bradley Wiggins has claimed that Leinders had nothing to do with his controversial injections of a corticosteroid before grand Tours in 2011, 2012 and 2013.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02, 2017, with the headline 'Fresh doping claims cast cloud over Team Sky'. Print Edition | Subscribe