News for November 29, 1997

Contracts and Transfers

- a new Italian team called Vini Caldirola will be directed by Roberto Amadio and Enrico Maggioni. It will have 14 riders: Stefano Faustini, Gianluca Sironi, Denis Zanette, Emiliano Murtas, Marco Zanotti, Mauro Radaelli, Oscar Della Costa, Mauro Zanetti Leonardo Calzavara (all from Aki-Safi) and further Giorgio Furlan (ex-Saeco), Stefano Dante (ex-Cantina Tollo) and the neo's, Stefano de Mauri, Simone Simonetti and Guido Trentin.

Continuing the Dutch Doping Scandal

I reported yesterday on the breaking news about the extensive dope and black money network that has been discovered in the province of Limburg, and which extended into Belgium and Germany, and involved leading professional riders.

The Dutch papers have now picked up the story. In Friday's Volkskrant (reporting from the original source that I had translated before this became widespread news), the manager of PDM, Manfred Krikke, said:. "When we started with PDM we agreed that we should not become the most ethical team in the field" The medical bosses had one instruction, keep the riders out of affairs."

We now continue with more analysis. Recall that Wim Sanders the Geleen doctor has been sprung big-time for a range of nefarious activities involving dope and money laundering.

His Assistant Janine Simons, said that in 1992 to 1993 had 60 patients who were leading sports people.

The black money circuit was integrated into the drug taking network Assistant Janine Simones said. Other assistants concurred. She said that testosterone and other anabolic steroids, syringe cocktails, and Pregnyl (an hormone preparation) were used. "Sanders told us how to load the syringes and how much to set for each rider."

Bike riders sometimes came to the practice 2 times per day for injections. Simons said: "Just before a competition they would come". From the FIOD investigation it was learned that Apotheek Zuidhof in Geleen in April 1991 had dispensed syringes for the injection system of Sanders.

The PDM team paid the bill.

Once a month, Assistant Monica Wouters made a list of the medicines, the vitamin preparations for use in the practice. The list was then written up as false prescriptions with the names of National Health Patients so that the National Health Service would not know what was going on. The list was then taken to the Apotheek Kluis (Chemist shop) in Geleen.

The drug recipes of the doctor were taken to other chemists in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, according to the assistants. Janine Simons: "Sanders continued to do all the bits and pieces himself."

The leading sports persons came around for their "recipes". Assistant Karin Vrehen had records of the recipes. She gave the FIOD a list, and named Roger Smeets, Roger Vaessen from Meers, the brothers Pasquino from Geleen, Armand van Mulken from Sint Geertruid and Valerie Lemmens from Valkenburg. Along with some PDM-renners, they were injecting the drugs according to Vrehen. The blood doping drug Eprex (EPO) was used by the cyclists Roger Smeets, Frank Ackermans and Roger Vaessen.

Bodybuilders came for Pregnylspuiten, said ex-assistant Monique Biermans. Assistant Catharine van Dosselaar, who has worked with Sanders since 1993, injected Deca-durabolin (an anabolic preparation) and Eprex and told of injecting drug cocktails into bike riders. The drugs were often supplied by the Apotheek Jeandarme in the Belgian town of St. Truiden. Also Janine Simons said that Doctor Sanders used to personally collect the drugs from the chemist.

Then in October 1995, the FIOD conducted a house search in Geleen giving Sanders one day's notice. From the records, it was clear that the doctor had been involved in black money rackets, and extensive doping. The records also linked PDM with the chemist Jeandarme. PDM paid the chemist directly.

The house search had then exposed a lot of information. Supervising the search was the President Math Klaaseen of the Limburg Medical Association. Klaassen got the names of the patients who had been given drugs and also the groups of patients.

From the information that Klaassen gave the FIOD, some 60 sports people were named.

The house search revealed facts about PDM. Between 1990 and 1995, Sanders and his chemist conspirators had administered 178 ampules of Eprex to his patients. Even more were for PDM. One Eprex application cost 1200 guilders from the German chemist Apotheek Selfkant and was used during the Tour of France in 1990.

The rest of the wonder drug Eprex was given to other cyclists and injected by Sanders at his practice. One handwritten note by Assistant Van Dosselaar shows how many Eprex injections were given to riders. On the list was the rider from Braband Marc van Orsouw and the Limburgers Pascal Appeldoorn, Roger Smeets and Frank Ackermans.

Another person named was the soigneur Fons van Heel who worked in the cycling teams of Jan Raas. From the house search in 1995 came the private information of Sanders and one letter found in the handwriting of his assistant Vrehen said: 'Mr. Van Heel from Grevenbicht came for 8 Eprex ampules (in the ice chest) He must pay: 8xf.200 = 1600 guilders."

Chemist Huub was a part of the doping network of Sanders. From his Apotheek Kluis in Geleen between 1989 and 1995 he dispensed more than 10,000 guilders of Eprex to the illegal circuit.

Named chemist Jacobs said: "I know nothing of this. I do not wish to speak about prescriptions, but EPO is not involved."

Cyclist Patrick Strouken: "I know Sanders. But I have never got any drugs of him. I have never been involved in black money. The settlements were for material from the bike shop that I had then."

Named cyclist Roger Smeets said: "I know Sanders, but i have not been to him for drugs. Absolutely not. That is all I have to say."

Named cyclist Danny Nelissen said: "Sanders is my doctor. Never have I had injections in his practice. I have never tested positive. I have also never dealt in black money."

Named cyclist Pascal Appeldoorn: "Sanders? Well, I have heard of him, but I do not know him personally."

Named cyclist Frank Ackermans said: "Sanders is our family doctor. I have never been to him for illegal drugs. Eprex? I only know about that from TV."

Named cyclist Roger Vaessen and soigneur Fons van Heel were not available for comment yesterday.

The Oceania Games will see Watt and Tyler-Sharman at it again

The Oceania Cycling Championships begin in the NZ North Island town of Wanganui on Sunday and there will be guaranteed fireworks between the antagonists of Australian women's cycling Lucy Tyler-Sharman and Kathy Watt. Challenging them both will be the NZ rider, Sarah Ulmer (21) who represented NZ at the last Olympics and has spent the last year racing the road to build up her power in the pursuit event.

The 3000 metre pursuit for Women will be held on Monday and Tuesday.

The opening day should see Australia take the first gold medal in the men's ITT. Recently crowned Australian Men's Road Champion and 8th-placed at the World ITT Jonathan Hall is in fine form.'s New Zealand correspondent and NZ Director of Coaching Eddie Bright has told me that the NZ riders are more prepared than ever to take on the Australian riders in all the events. When the event was last held in 1995 (Townsville, Qld), NZ and Australia shared the majority of the medals. Bright thinks that Australia will dominate the track sprint events however.

The closest event should be the 155 kms road race for men which will be raced on the last day of the Championships. NZ's Chris Jenner (23) will be hard to beat. He has just signed a two year contract with French Pro team GAN. Other NZ threats include current NZ road champion Gordon McCauley and Ric Reid, who is the reigning Oceania road champion. But the Australians also have a strong field including Hall.

Tour de France for Germany 1999?

In 1992 the Tour de France last visited Germany when it went from Valkenburg to Koblenz. Following the victory of Jan Ullrich, Germany is caught in a cycling mania. There are three cities vying to being involved either as a stage start or a stage finish for the 1999 Tour. They are Bonn, Freiburg and Krefeld.