A leading anti-doping expert has accused all nine riders competing for the T-Mobile team during the 2006 Tour de France of blood doping.
“According to information I have, the entire [2006 Tour de France] T-Mobile team went (to the University Clinic Freiburg) and resorted to blood transfusions,” Professor Werner Franke told German radio in an interview to be broadcast on Tuesday.
Only German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz, who was last month given a one-year ban for a failed drugs test, has admitted he used doping products while riding for T-Mobile.
Former team leader Jan Ullrich retired in February having been sacked by T-Mobile in July 2006 after he was linked to Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor whose blood doping network was exposed last year.
“This information is considered so compromising that for the moment there has been no enquiry,” claimed Franke, a biology professor from Heidelberg and a leading campaigner against doping.
Led by Andreas Kloden, second in the 2006 Tour de France behind American Floyd Landis, T-Mobile won the team standings that year.
Four of their riders finished in the top eight in the seventh stage, a 52km time-trail won by Ukrainian Serhiy Honchar, sacked in 2007 by the German team for an abnormal blood count.
T-Mobile, the mobile phone division of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, announced last month that they were ending their sponsorship of a major cycling team after a succession of doping scandals.
The team now operates under the name High Road and includes Australian rider Michael Rogers, a member of the T-Mobile team in the 2006 Tour de France.
Rogers and Kloden, who now competes for Kazakh-financed team Astana – who were themselves embroiled in a doping scandal during the Tour de France when team captain Alexandre Vinokourok was done for blood doping – have always denied doping.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008