Orica supports Weening, says he is cooperative with Dutch authorities
Australian team says it is supportive of the rider and that he is cooperating with Dutch authorities
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Orica-GreenEdge announced on Tuesday that Pieter Weening, a member of the 2007 Rabobank Tour de France team, which Michael Rasmussen has accused of being “100 percent” doped, has made himself available to the Dutch anti-doping organization.
“Orica-GreenEdge is aware that Pieter Weening has made himself fully available to the Dutch NADO for their ongoing, comprehensive investigations into doping of Dutch cyclists,” the team said in a statement. “The team has received documentation that, based on information the Dutch NADO have — including in relation to Michael Rasmussen’s allegations of 2007 — they have not opened any doping inquiry against Pieter Weening and do not posses any sort of evidence or testimony to do so. Pieter Weening has been fully collaborative in relation to this and Orica-GreenEdge would like to express its full support in him going onwards.”
In an interview with Danish public television to promote his new book, Yellow Jersey, Rasmussen claimed that the entire lineup during the scandal-ridden 2007 Tour de France was on the juice.
In the interview, Rasmussen alleged that “100 percent” his Rabobank teammates were taking some sort of banned substances, though he did not specify which products for each rider.
That was the same year Rasmussen was leading the Tour when team management kicked him out of the race after a scandal erupted over the Dane’s whereabouts in the weeks and months ahead of the race’s start.
Weening won the Tour de Pologne (Tour of Poland) in 2013 and is a former stage winner at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
The Dutchman was questioned about his past last December by anti-doping expert Nicki Vance in the wake of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation that led to sport director Matthew White being temporarily suspended from the team.
Last year, White admitted that he used doping products during part of his racing career, leading him to be fired from his job as coach of the Australian national team as well as a temporary ban from his post at the UCI ProTeam.
White returned to the fold mid-season in 2013, while other riders and staff were questioned during an internal team investigation. Weening, who has signed a contract extension through 2015, previously told team officials he had nothing to hide from earlier in his career.
European correspondent Andrew Hood contributed to this report.