Tom Dumoulin says he ‘felt betrayed’ after Georg Preidler's blood doping confession

The former Giro d’Italia winner said the revelation shows doping hasn’t been eradicated

Tom Dumoulin has responded to the revelation his former team-mate was involved in doping (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Tom Dumoulin said he "felt betrayed" by the revelation his former team-mate Georg Preidler was involved in a blood doping ring.

Austrian pro Preidler resigned from Groupama-FDJ earlier this month after admitting he had extracted blood with the intention of doping.

Preidler, a former Sunweb rider, admitted he planned to dope after a police investigation into endurance skiing uncovered links to pro cyclists.

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Sunweb’s Grand Tour favourite Dumoulin said the revelations show doping has not been eradicated.

The 28-year-old told Dutch broadcaster NOS: “My first reaction? I thought it was terrible, I felt betrayed.

“He says he didn’t do it with us, that he only did it last year.

“It shows that it hasn’t disappeared yet.”

Dumoulin and Preidler rode together for Giant-Shimano, which later became Sunweb, for five seasons before the latter moved on to French outfit Groupama-FDJ in 2018.

Preidler was part of Dumoulin’s 2017 Giro d’Italia winning squad.

The scandal began to unravel at the end of February, when police raided 16 properties and arrested nine people in connection with blood doping in the Nordic skiing World Championships in Seefeld, Austria.

Police operations were carried out in Seefeld and in Erfurt, Germany and 40 blood bags were seized.

A number of skiers were arrested, alongside German doctor Mark Schmidt who was linked to the former Gerolsteiner cycling team.

Gerolsteiner folded in 2008 after a number of doping scandals.

Video footage emerged after the raids, showing Austrian skier Max Hauke allegedly being interrupted by police in the middle of a blood transfusion.

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The first cyclist caught up in the affair was former Aqua Blue Sport rider Stefan Denifl, who reportedly admitted to blood doping during a police interview after police uncovered his connection with the doctor.

Preidler then announced his “spontaneous and immediate” resignation to his Groupama-FDJ team on Sunday, March 3, having pulled out of the weekend’s racing.

The Austrian quit the team after he admitted to extracting blood to re-infuse it at a later date.

Marcel Kittel, who also rode for Argos-Shimano and grew up in Erfurt, said the doping revelations are a “slap in the face to clean athletes like him.”

The UCI has provisionally suspended both Preidler and Denifl.

Dumoulin added: “I am also very surprised I’ve been asked about it so little.

“Journalists have to keep this alive. I think it's really important to remain sceptical.

“That is not always fun, but it is still happening.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.