Tom Dumoulin has warned of the need for constant vigilance in the fight against doping in the wake of his former teammate Georg Preidler’s confession that he had extracted blood on two occasions with the intention of blood doping.
Preidler confessed to Austrian police earlier this month that he had blood extracted on two occasions in late 2018. The Austrian rider spent five years alongside Dumoulin at Sunweb and was part of the team that helped the Dutchman win the 2017 Giro d’Italia. He joined Groupama-FDJ ahead of the 2018 season and quit the team in the wake of his confession.
“We were very good teammates. I wouldn’t call him a friend, but he was a close teammate to me. Then he left the team and now this, it’s really weird. It’s a strange feeling. I had a bad morning when the news came out,” Dumoulin told Cyclingnews in Camaiore ahead of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Dumoulin said that he has had no contact with Preidler since his confession and was at a loss to explain what had prompted his former teammate to take recourse to blood doping, though he hoped he would offer a public explanation for his actions.
“I haven’t spoken to him, so I wouldn’t know, I can only guess,” Dumoulin said. “I hope he just comes out and tells the story, how it happened and why he did it. I think that would be a good thing.”
Preidler’s confession was prompted by the ‘Operation Aderlass’ blood doping inquiry, which is centred on the activities of the former Gerolsteiner and Milram doctor Mark Schmidt, who is based in Erfurt, Germany.
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