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June 22, 2015 – Danish former professional road cyclist Nicki Sorensen on Monday admitted to doping, one day before the release of a major report by Denmark’s anti-doping agency.
“I have doped, I have fully admitted that. I’m sorry for that and I wish I had done differently,” he told Danish tabloid BT. Sorensen, who won four Danish National Road Race Championships between 2003 and 2011, denied his former team principal Bjarne Riis had encouraged him to do so.
“It happened in the early years of my career, more than ten years back. It was my own decision to do it,” he said.
Former Tinkoff-Saxo manager Riis won the 1996 Tour de France but admitted in 2007 that he used the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) to secure victory. Danish anti-doping agency ADD is due to release a report on the use of doping substances in Danish cycling on Tuesday.
Three years in the making, the study will be the biggest of its kind in the Scandinavian country. “I have told ADD about my own experiences. I have done that to relieve my own conscience and also because I wanted to help cycling,” Sorensen said.
The highlight of Sorensen’s career were individual stage wins at the 2009 Tour de France and 2005 Vuelta a Espana. He ended his 15-year professional career, in which he finished 20th overall at the 2002 Tour de France, at the end of last season before becoming a coach with Tinkoff.
Official statement from Tinkoff-Saxo
Nicki Sørensen informed the management of Tinkoff-Saxo at the time he spoke to Anti Doping Danmark (ADD) in 2013. Sørensen advised Tinkoff-Saxo that the matters he talked about with ADD were related to before 2004 and he expressed his deep regret that they had occurred. Tinkoff-Saxo accepted that these were matters to be privately resolved between ADD and Sørensen. Tinkoff-Saxo has a deep-rooted anti-doping culture that is implemented throughout the entire team. Tinkoff-Saxo was convinced at the time and remains of the view that Sørensen has conducted himself fully in accordance with this culture over the past decade of working with the team. Additional information, if required, will be made public in due time.
Tinkoff-Saxo has supported the cooperation and collaboration by all its members with any entity involved in creating a better environment in professional cycling. The team believes that a full disclosure of negative past practices should be encouraged in order to identify and implement appropriate measures to prevent wrongdoing in the present and future sport.