Tim Wellens: Not a fan of riders that go even faster after doping suspension
May 09 2018 08:41 am CET

Tim Wellens: Not a fan of riders that go even faster after doping suspension
Tim Wellens: Not a fan of riders that go even faster after doping suspension
Photo of Tim Wellens (c)Lotto-Soudal

Cycling always had a big problem with doping, and even though the sport has become a lot cleaner over the years, it is still not completely free from rumours and scandals. Tim Wellens is one of the peloton’s most outspoken riders on this topic, as he refuses to use any TUE’s himself despite his heat allergy.

In an interview with Belgian sports news outlet Sporza, the winner of yesterday’s stage in the Giro speaks freely about the issue. "It is true that I am not a fan of riders that go even faster after a doping suspension. It annoys me that Valverde never clarified what happened back then [during Operación Puerto].

"Then I care less about a guy like Thomas Dekker. He at least comes clean about what happened. That hurts the sport, but to get cured a little pain is needed."

Dekker published a book in 2016 about the doping practices that he was involved in at the former Rabobank team. After a suspension from 2009 until 2011 he returned to professional cycling, but never reached the level he did before until he finally quit in 2014.

Valverde was suspended between 2010 and 2012 for his involvement in Operación Puerto, the major doping scandal around infamous doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. El Imbatido has raced to some of his best results in the period after his return to cycling, including twice Liège-Bastogne-Liège, three times La Flèche Wallone and the Clasica San Sebastian. Even though he was officially suspended, he has never openly talked about what happened back then. To this day both the peloton and its followers are left with a lot of questions.

Another unclarified story is that of Chris Froome and the salbutamol case. The adverse analytical finding of the British Sky rider has stoked up quite some debates. "I cannot say too much about that," Wellens states, "he has not been convicted yet and is still riding. The others I'm talking about were suspended. It is proven that they did bad things."

By Siebe Kok
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TIM WELLENS
ALEJANDRO VALVERDE





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