Third Edition News for November 29, 1997

Dutch Doping Scandal Part 4


"Write what you like. I have no longer any defence. I am damaged and that is certainly not going to change in the future." Ex-PDM team leader Jan Gisbers was speaking from his pained heart. The publication of the drugs scandal involving PDM and the former PDM team doctor Wim Sanders from Geleen, has caused him a lot of pain. There is a sense that his defence has left him a little bitter.

Nevertheless, the 57-year old Gisbers from Eindhoven has come out and said: "In each team there were things taken. In a sport where there are millions involved all the pressure is on winning."

Gisbers agreed with Manfred Krikke yesterday, that it was not only PDM that was involved in doping. "In proportion to the other teams the PDM thing is small. One dope test which was failed. And which team can you say is not implicated. Who is perfect. Which team has never had a positive finding."

"I am sure that among the top sportspeople there are some taking drugs. Did I wish that for my riders. No! I certainly did not tell my riders to take anything. With my hand on my heart - I have never known of one rider of mine that has taken drugs."

Jan Gisbers continued: "Manfred Krikke and I agreed that we must get rid of Wim Sanders after the intralipid affair in the 1991 Tour. But humane trust and naivety are a little bit the same. Because his doctor's practice has now caused considerable damage the reaction to us will always be negative in the newspapers."

Response from Medical Authorities

"There has been a sense that the doctors should exercise self discipline and there has not been enough rules against doctors who become involved in drugs and sport. It is a closed world." said the jury officer E. de Jong of the Royal Dutch Society for Medicine (Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Geneeskunst - KNMG).

There is not penalties for administering drugs to sports people in the Rule Book.

Belgium has a drug law which defines that the taking and administering of drugs is punishable. In practice and since 1994, no-one has been taken for being in the "doping business" to a disciplinary tribunal.

Certainly, also in the Netherlands no doctor can administer banned substances to sports persons, under the behavioural code for doctors of the KNMG. This has been in place for 2 years under the "code for the handling of sports medicine" of the Organisation for Sports Medicine. The correct code rules that doctors specifies that the doctors must themselves understand the plight of the sportsperson and advise against the taking of remedies.

Sports Organisations are required to have such rules. The International Olympic Committee and the UCI list the banned substances. The Anti-Drug Commission of the UCI can ban a doctor from being associated with cycling if they detect that they have been administering banned substances. National Federations and clubs who are involved can be fined up to 15000 guilders.

Now in the drug scandal involving sports doctor Wim Sanders it is possible that he can be prosecuted under the disciplinary rules. Also the UCI can make the doctors and the riders account for themselves.

At the end of 1995, State Secretary Terpstra introduced regulations to be used against doctors who help sports people take drugs. They will via the KNMG define rules for the medical discipline process. Also sports bodies who take their work seriously in relation to drugs taking should introduce higher penalties.