A former professional cyclist from the Netherlands has been handed a lifetime ban from cycling after injecting his son with banned performance-enhancing drugs – apparently without his knowledge.
Teo Muis, aged 50, is reported to have told his son Jesse, now aged 18, that he was injecting him with multivitamins.
The youngster, then 17, was banned for four years in November 2015, and claimed at the time it was because he had missed an anti-doping control earlier that year while racing in Flanders.
The website of the national governing body for cycling, the KNWU, provided details of the suspension but not the reasons it was imposed, reports Dutch cycling website wielerflits.nl.
However, rumours began circulating on social media and cycling forums that there was more to the story than met the eye.
Earlier this month, the KNWU published a statement on its website, this time relating to Teo Muis, saying he had been “banned for life with immediate effect following a ruling of the Institute for Sports Law and, therefore, must in no way be involved with or take part in competitions or training."
It has since emerged that the reason behind that lifetime ban is that at some point in November or December 2013 he had administered his son, whom he coached, with the banned substance nandrolone.
He said his son – whose ban has been reduced to two years – was under the impression he was being given multivitamins.
In a 2013 interview with writer and photographer Jan Volwerk, Muis, who rode in the 1990s for the Spanish team Orbea, insisted he had been clean during his career.
“Doping? Not me,” he said. “It was offered to me by my team mates, but I never responded. I was too afraid I’d be caught and I didn’t really want it.”
Earlier this year, after Belgian under-23 cyclo-cross rider Femke van Den Driessche was found to have a motor concealed in a bike prepared for her at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Dutch journalist and former pro cyclist Marijn de Vries hit out at parents whose win-at-all-costs mentality led to their children cheating.
It was a theme also taken up by retired pro David Millar in August when he spoke at the Edinburgh Book Festival about what it takes to become a professional cyclist and said: “I get a little bit worried about the modern generation of parents pushing their kids so much.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.