Robert Gesink has said he once thought about doping, but didn’t come very close to taking performance enhancing drugs.
The Dutchman, now a trusted domestique for Jumbo-Visma, was once a serious Grand Tour contender but has since settled into his support role.
In an interview with Dutch media Gesink, who joined the peloton in 2005, said doping was more common when he turned pro and that many riders felt it was part of becoming a good rider.
“I think certainly at the start of my career I made choices that others made differently.”
When asked if he was referring to doping, Gesink said: “Yes, when I became a pro it was a lot more common than it is now.”
He was also asked if he had ever considered doping, to which he responded: “I’ve thought about it once, but it never got very close.
“It was part of the sport that you sometimes thought: if I really want to become that good, then that is part of it. But luckily I had the right people around me.”
Gesink has spent his entire career with Dutch outfit Jumbo, formerly Rabobank.
But after collecting a handful of victories, including the overall in the Tour of California and a stage of the 2016 Vuelta, Gesink has since become a valued domestique in the Jumbo team, riding in support of Primož Roglič during both of his Vuelta victories.