My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

What it all comes down to is that everything's gonna be quite alright

Category: Cycling

Thomas Dekker was found positive for dope a couple of months ago. An anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, Germany, made an analysis of a test conducted on an out-of-competition control in December 2007. The test result became famous just days before the Tour de France started; a race that the Dutch cyclist should race. Silence-Lotto removed him from their Tour team and suspended him on July 1. Yes, it took a while for them to realize that the test was positive, right? But really, it's quite good, no? Suddenly it is possible to find out, afterwards, that athletes have doped. The tests are getting better all the time, and that's a good thing.

It has been believed for quite a time that the test would have been positive but they couldn't find out for sure before they looked at Dekker's blood profile in his biological passport in 2008 and 2009.

Now Thomas Dekker has announced that counter-analysis has confirmed his positive test for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO). And he also admitted his mistake. He "acknowledges that he has made a mistake, he takes full responsibility," his lawyer Hans Van Oijen said in a press statement. "Thomas Dekker regrets his mistake; he will apologise and be held accountable, where possible."

In the press statement, Dekker said the drug use was a one-time mistake and that he wants to return to cycling to prove he achieved his past results because of his talent and his teams' help. He will probably be suspended for two years, at least one.

Dekker rode for Dutch team Rabobank at the time of the test. He was later sacked by his team. They said he had had "abnormal blood values" from that year's Tour de Suisse as justification for its decision. At the start of this season Thomas Dekker joined Silence-Lotto.
"I am sorry this happened, of course," said Silence-Lotto's team manager Marc Sergeant, "It's important to remember that this occurred when he was a member of Rabobank, but it still doesn't make the news any less disappointing."

Dekker is a two-time Dutch time trial champion and winner of the 2006 Tirreno-Adriatico and 2007 Tour de Romandie. He took bronze in the U23-World Road Race Championships in 2003 (a race won by Sergey Lagutin) and one year later he took silver in the road race and time trial for U23 men.