Johan Museeuw has finally fessed up to taking the banned blood booster EPO during the final year of his career.
The Belgian classics specialist has revealed details of his doping ways in a new book, entitled, “Museeuw Speaks,” released this week which covers the period from September 4, 2003, when his home was raided by Belgian authorities, to December 16, 2008, with a decision by the courts that led to a 10-month suspended sentence and a 2500-euro fine.
“I was a man of flesh and blood. I didn’t want to leave the sport of cycling. I was in the cloud. I was the king and I didn’t want to give up my throne,” the former world champion explained. “That’s why I went looking for EPO.”
Museeuw ? who won 11 important one-day races in his career ? said he would travel to nearby Germany to buy the doping products, something he explains was very easy to obtain.
“I would go to Cologne, park in an underground garage and enter a pharmacy. I had a little disguise with reading glasses at the end of my nose,” he said. “I would enter with a paper of what I wanted. The pharmacist would say something that I didn’t understand and returned with a small box. I paid cash, between 50 and 100 euros. The pharmacist never asked and I never offered explanations. Obviously, EPO and Aranesp were easy enough to find in Germany.”
Museeuw, 43, said he hopes the book will help put the doping incident behind him and that he can be remembered as a winner, not as a disgraced doper.
“I was suspended two years … and I also received a heavy sentence by justice as a criminal, which I am not. I only took EPO,” he said. “I want to return to cycling. I was offered the chance to be the official timer at the Tour of Flanders, an offer I accepted with pleasure. I want to return to the heart of the peloton.”