Notes

1. Speech at Frankfurt University, 5 February 1964.

2. Jan Ullrich, Ganz oder Gar Nicht (Econ, 2004).

3. ibid., p. 51.

4. Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German ‘Miracle’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 191.

5. Benjamin Lowe, David B. Kanin and Andrew Strenk (eds.), Sport and International Relations (Stipes, 1978), pp. 348–9.

6. Ullrich, Ganz oder Gar Nicht.

7. Bjarne Riis, Riis: Stages of Light and Dark (Vision Sports, 2012).

8. Ferrari had by this time already been barred from any involvement in cycling events and from treating or consulting with any Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) licensee, per a ruling by the FCI on 13 February 2002. The FCI disciplinary committee had deemed Ferrari to have violated the UCI’s anti-doping regulations on the basis of evidence gathered in a then ongoing investigation which would initially see Ferrari sentenced, in October 2004, to one year in prison (suspended), a fine of 900 euros and the suspension of his medical licence for eleven months and twenty-one days. Just under two years later, the judgement was overturned because the statute of limitations had expired on the charge of ‘sporting fraud’ (which, Ferrari’s lawyer had argued in the initial trial, had been designed to combat corruption through gambling and not doping), while a second conviction for ‘pharmacist misconduct’ collapsed because Ferrari had prescribed potentially harmful substances only sporadically and to a small number of individuals.

9. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20 September 1997.

10. Der Spiegel, 12 June 1999.

11. Udo Bölts, Quäl dich, du Sau! (Covadonga, 2006).

12. Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life (Penguin, 2000).

13. Ullrich, Ganz oder Gar Nicht.

14. Lance Armstrong, Every Second Counts (Yellow Jersey, 2004).

15. Hamilton recounted these events both in his 2013 book The Secret Race and in a sworn affidavit to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. USADA concluded that ‘Hamilton’s detailed account of Lance Armstrong’s doping is truthful, accurate and well corroborated’.

16. Johan Bruyneel, We Might As Well Win (Mainstream Publishing, 2011).

17. Donati’s speculation about when Conconi first used EPO is partly based on evidence seized from the University of Ferrara in 1998, including details of Conconi’s research projects funded with Italian Olympic Commission (CONI) grants. One study in particular, from 1987, focusing on the effect of acute and chronic variations in haematocrit on aerobic capacities, caught the attention of judge Pierguido Soprani but was deemed a ‘clue’ rather than proof that Conconi had started to administer EPO around this time. The first synthetic EPO to be approved for use in Europe was Eprex, in 1988.

18. Conconi was named president of the UCI’s medical commission on 27 August 1993 (Alessandro Donati, Lo sport del doping. Chi lo subisce, chi lo combatte [Edizioni Gruppo Abele, 2013]). Two days earlier, the professor had given a now infamous speech at an anti-doping conference in Lillehammer in Norway, announcing that he had begun a trial to test the effects of EPO on twenty-three amateur athletes. Years later, the prosecution in Conconi’s trial for sporting fraud successfully argued that these amateurs were in fact world-class professional cyclists, although the doping charges against the professor were finally dismissed due to the statute of limitations having expired. Sandro Donati’s book also details Professor Conconi’s efforts to prove the efficacy of EPO with experiments . . . on himself. Between 30 July and 21 September 1991, according to Conconi’s own notes recovered years later in police raids at the University of Ferrara in Italy, Conconi took just under fifteen minutes off his timed ascents of the Stelvio Pass, improving from one hour 21.01 minutes to one hour 5.29 minutes, thanks to what Donati describes as a ‘horrifying’ course of EPO treatment in the intervening period.

The International Olympic Committee funded Conconi’s efforts to develop an EPO test method to the tune of $160,000. (L’unità, 1 December 1996, p. 11). Between 1979 and 1996, Conconi had received much bigger sums for other research projects and commissions from the Italian Olympic Commission (CONI). At a conference in Geneva in December 1994, speaking in his role as the president of the UCI’s medical commission and with several leading riders in the audience, Conconi claimed the EPO detection method that he was helping to develop for the IOC was ‘just a few months from being ready’, in line with what he had already told Alexandre de Merode, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission. Alas, in 1996, he was informing de Merode that, despite ‘progress’, his quest to find a valid EPO detection method was still ‘a long way from its conclusion’. Later the same year, he wrote to de Merode that a successful outcome to his study would be ‘a nice Christmas present for everybody’ (Donati). De Merode responded by announcing to journalists on 16 December 1996 that the IOC would unveil its new EPO test ‘the following week’. In fact, it would be four more years before a valid test, unrelated to the method proposed by Conconi, was rolled out in international sporting competitions.

19. Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle, The Secret Race (Corgi, 2013).

20. Ullrich, Ganz oder Gar Nicht.

21. ibid.

22. ibid.

23. In November 2003 the Court of Ferrara acquitted Conconi of the charge of sporting fraud due to the statute of limitations having run out in August 1995, and a ‘lack of evidence’ for specific instances of doping thereafter. Conconi greeted the verdict by reaffirming that he had ‘nothing to do with doping’ and that to state otherwise would be akin to ‘comparing a Goya nude to a pornographic photo’. Writing in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Giuseppe Toti called the verdict ‘shameful’. Later, in June 2004, the anti-doping commission of the Italian Olympic Committee also dismissed their parallel case against Conconi for the same reasons. Nonetheless, as judge Giovanni Verdi wrote in his summing up, the picture that emerged from the case, and in particular evidence for Conconi’s EPO doping, was ‘demoralizing’, shining a light as it did on ‘doctors who show no scruples in studying the effects of doping substances on athletes, going to great lengths to do so, and also using public money obtained from CONI research grants and agreements with other federations and teams’.

24. Kelme became a title sponsor of the team previously known as Transmallorca-Flavia-Gios in 1980, and would remain its headline backer until the end of 2004. In the intervening period, team members would fail anti-doping tests leading to sanctions on seventeen occasions. When he took the stand in the Operación Puerto trial in 2013, Jesús Manzano claimed that he had only encountered one rider at Kelme who didn’t dope, the Spanish journeyman Juan Miguel Cuenca. Kelme’s long-time team manager, Vicente Belda, rubbished this accusation, declaring in court that Kelme were a ‘clean’ team. He also cast doubt on Manzano’s credibility, explaining that he had renewed the rider’s contract in 2002 only on compassionate grounds after the death of Manzano’s father. Belda suggested that Manzano’s claims about Kelme were motivated by revenge, given that he was sent home from the 2003 Vuelta having been caught in flagrante with a woman who wasn’t his girlfriend in the team hotel – and never raced for the team again.

25. C. G. Jung, Aufsätze zur Zeitgeschichte (Rascher, 1946), pp. 73–117.

26. Saiz was acquitted of crimes against public health when Operación Puerto went to trial in 2013. Saiz had testified that, although he had employed Fuentes in his teams in the 1990s, he had ‘never been present when a cyclist was consulting Fuentes’, ‘didn’t know what the team doctors were doing for 280 days a year’, and had ‘never given [my] riders banned medicines or blood transfusions’. He claimed that the meeting in the Hotel Pio XII which had led to his and Fuentes’s arrests had to been set up to discuss the possibility of helping the doctor’s daughter to obtain a job at ONCE, a Spanish charity for the blind and Saiz’s former team sponsor, after her treatment for cancer.

27. Nearly seven years after Eufemiano Fuentes’s arrest, Operación Puerto finally came to trial in April 2013. Fuentes and four other individuals were accused of crimes against public health – Manolo Saiz; Fuentes’s sister and fellow former Kelme doctor Yolanda; and the former Kelme directeur sportif and team manager respectively, Ignacio Labarta and Vicente Belda. Finally, only Fuentes and Labarta were found guilty, the former receiving a one-year suspended prison sentence and the latter a four-month term. Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria said that Fuentes’s blood transfusions represented ‘a significant risk to the health’ of his patients. Both Fuentes and Labarta appealed – and three years later both men were cleared on the basis that blood transfusions could not be considered ‘medicines’ and therefore fell outside of the realm of the alleged crimes. In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was finally able to perform DNA tests on hitherto unidentified blood bags seized from Fuentes’s Madrid apartments but said that it would not disclose the results as their statute of limitations for disciplinary action had expired. In January 2022, WADA did not respond to a query about whether athletes are formally banned from being coached or treated by Eufemiano Fuentes, given that he does not feature on WADA’s Prohibited Association List, unlike Michele Ferrari and other doctors who have previously faced allegations of doping cyclists.

28. Christian Frommert, Dann iss halt was! (Mosaik, 2013).

29. La Gazzetta dello Sport, 8 May 2007.

30. DDR doping czar Manfred Höppner admitted in 1991 that most of the documents pertaining to East Germany’s systematic doping programme, or ‘State Planning Theme 14.25’, were shredded or in some other way destroyed in the months that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall, as the regime’s former chiefs scrambled to cover their tracks. Evidence from the late 1980s was particularly scarce and difficult to piece together. Höppner’s own ‘Stasi’ files do indicate that blood transfusions were at least an area of interest for the East German sports leadership from August 1986, three months after the technique was banned by the IOC. EPO was first approved for the treatment of anaemia in Europe two years later, shortly before the Peaceful Revolution, and there is little evidence to suggest that it became East German athletes’ blood-boosting method of choice. Nonetheless, citing newly examined files from the DDR Health Ministry, Der Spiegel reported in 2013 that West German EPO manufacturer Boehringer Mannheim had performed clinical EPO trials on thirty prematurely born babies in Berlin’s Charité hospital. The magazine presented evidence that Boehringer was one of several West German pharmaceutical companies that, between them, paid modest sums to recruit around 50,000 East German volunteers for experimental treatments in the late 1980s. Participants in several of the trials are believed to have died.

31. Godefroot sued D’Hont for alleging in his book that Godefroot had organized and financed Telekom’s doping programme. The presiding judge ruled in March 2010 that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim, although Godefroot was aware of doping in the team. D’Hont was ordered to pay 7,500 euros in damages.

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