BMC rider Thomas Frei has admitted to using EPO since April 2009. Last week the 25-year-old rider failed a test for EPO taken in March, and was suspended by his BMC team. Frie has stated he does not wish for his B sample to be tested. Speaking at a press conference in Switzerland he said “It is correct, that I have taken EPO. Therefore there is no sense in opening the B sample. There is no point in hoping for the off-chance that it will be negative.”
Frei went on to state that he had evaded a previous positive tests because he was able to micro dose, taking small amounts of EPO, to avoid detection.
In an honest statement Frei stated “I am not a hard-core liar, I had to talk about it.”
What is alarming is that Frei was able to evade a positive test simply by mircro dosing. He stated that the day prior to providing the sample, he had injected himself with a micro dose of EPO yet afterwards had failed to drink enough water, which would have enabled him to avoid detection. Although Frei was caught by a surprise, out of competition test, had it not been for him taking the water, he would still be competing today. This also throws into question the effectiveness of the bio-passport system, although we are not aware whether he was targeted due to abnormal profiles – we await confirmation of this.
As we have stated previously, and this proves the case, that you don’t neccessarily have to provide a positive test to be a doper within this sport. Bernard Kohl, another disgraced doper, stated some months ago that riders were able to avoid detection through micro-dosing on EPO.
Many will vilify Frei for doping, and we deplore his actions in doing so, yet we applaud his position for admitting to his errors so soon, standing up and making a forthright statement as to his doping. By pushing Frei to one side won’t make the doping problem that hangs over our sport go away, but maybe asking him why he doped, how he doped and his solutions for a more promising path for young riders in the sport.
One of our members in Romania made a comment today and it stands out in our minds,
“Nobody should be faced with the decision to cheat in order to succeed”