Tinkoff-Saxo are standing by sports director and former rider, Nicki Sørensen, after the Dane admitted to doping during his 15-year career.
The Dane told Denmark’s BT newspaper that he did so over 10 years ago when he was riding with CSC and Chicky World.
In a press release on Monday evening, Tinkoff-Saxo confirmed their coach has “expressed his deep regret” and has fully complied with the team’s anti-doping practices in his time with them.
“Tinkoff-Saxo accepted that these were matters to be privately resolved between ADD and Sørensen,” the statement read. “Tinkoff-Saxo has a deep-rooted anti-doping culture that is implemented throughout the entire team.
“Tinkoff-Saxo was convinced at the time and remains of the view that Sørensen has conducted himself fully in accordance with this culture over the past decade of working with the team”
The Russian/Danish team has suffered its share of doping cases already, from the confession of former team manager Bjarne Riis to Contador’s 2010 Tour positive. Sorensen’s case will likely not sink the team, but will cause controversy as it tries to prepare for third Tour victory next month with Contador.
“It happened in the early years of my career, and it is more than ten years back,” he told BT.
“It was my own decision to do it and I can really only refer you to ADD’s [Denmark’s anti-doping agency] report when it is published.”
Sørensen is listed as one of Tinkoff-Saxo’s 10 sport directors and trainers on its website, which includes Brit Sean Yates. Over the winter the team hired Yates after he left Sky in mysterious circumstances following the 2012 Lance Armstrong scandal. They also hired Bobby Julich, who worked for Sky until he admitted he doped as a cyclist.
Sørensen, 40, spoke with the anti-doping agency, which is near the end of an ongoing doping investigation. The report is due out on Tuesday afternoon at 12:00 local time. He did not expand on his cheating, but confirmed he did so in an article BT published on Monday.
“I told ADD about my own experiences. I have done this to ease my conscience and because I also wanted to help the sport of cycling,” Sørensen said. “I have doped, I have admitted fully. I’m sorry.”
The Dane won stages in the Vuelta a España and Tour de France, and was part of Contador’s winning teams in those races and in the Giro d’Italia.