3 in 4 Danes say Tour de France can't be won clean - Bjarne Riis says they're misinformed

Tinkoff-Saxo boss who admitted doping when he won 1996 Tour says sport is cleaning its act up

by Simon_MacMichael   July 9, 2014  

Contador and Riis press conference

Three in four Danes believe it is impossible to win the Tour de France clean. But the country’s only winner of the race, Saxo-Tinkoff manager Bjarne Riis, who himself admitted to doping says they are misinformed – and insists that people within the sport are doing all they can to clean it up.

According to the Copenhagen Post, a survey of 1,005 people by Voxmeter asked them if they thought the Tour de France could be won by a rider without doping, with 77.2 per cent answering “no.”

But Tinkoff-Saxo manager Riis, stripped of his 1996 Tour de France title after admitting doping in 2007 – he was reinstated the following year with an asterisk to record his doping – maintains the people surveyed do not have enough information to express an informed opinion.

"The people who have been asked have no knowledge of it and they haven't got a chance to learn more," he said. "They speculate and they guess. That is all there is to it.

"Cycling has its history and we can't communicate it any differently to how we do," he continued.

“We are doing our best to ensure a clean sport. We can't expect everyone to know what's going on."

Riis stood by Alberto Contador after the Spaniard, who had joined Saxo Bank in 2011, received a ban the following year, was banned as a result of his positive test for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, with the overall victory instead going to Andy Schleck.

The views of the general public in Denmark about doping in cycling may have been coloured by high profile media coverage over the past year and a half of former pro, Michael Rasmussen.

In January 2013, he admitted to having doped throughout his career, including while at Riis’s CSC Tiscali Team – now, Tinkoff-Saxo.

In 2007, Rabobank sacked Rasmussen while he was leading the Tour de France with four stages remaining for breaking team rules after it emerged that he had lied about his whereabouts while training for the race.

He had claimed to be in Mexico, but was spotted in Italy by former pro cyclist turned TV commentator, and now Italian national coach, Davide Cassini.

2 user comments

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Knocking down Riis is almost too easy. Here's a manager who has been caught doping, in charge of a team whose team leader has been caught doping.

A convicted doper lecturing the public, telling them they don't know anything, doesn't help. What's needed is to ban known dopers from managing teams, that might start to persuade the public that cycling has changed.

posted by HarrogateSpa [169 posts]
9th July 2014 - 12:46


Of course it's possible to win clean. It's possible to win anything clean. It'd just be slower.

posted by andyp [1286 posts]
10th July 2014 - 8:17