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Danish cycling legend Riis aware of doping

A comprehensive report on doping in the Danish cycling world revealed on Tuesday that former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis "had knowledge" that his riders were using performance enhancers.

Danish cycling legend Riis aware of doping
Bjarne Riis (R), shown here with 2008 Tour de France winner and CSC team member Carlos Sastre, was aware of doping. Photo: Patrick Hertzog/Scanpix
Bjarne Riis knew about widespread doping on the former Team CSC which he managed, according to a report released Tuesday by Denmark's anti-doping agency.
 
“Unfortunately the investigation has revealed that doping at Team CSC cannot only be blamed on individual riders,” the director of Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), Michael Ask, said in a statement.
 
As team manager Riis “at least had knowledge of doping on the team but failed to intervene,” he said, but conceded that the agency would not be pressing any charges since the statute of limitations had expired.
 
The report was the biggest of its kind to have been released in Denmark and was based on 50 interviews with riders, including Michael Rasmussen, who in 2013 admitted to using banned drugs between 1998 and 2010.
 
A day prior to the report's release, Danish cyclist Nicki Sørensen admitted that he too had used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. 
 
 
Riis won the 1996 Tour de France as a rider but would later admit to having doped during his career, including the year he won the Grand Boucle. 
 
He created a team in the early 2000s — which has gone under several names, including Team CSC — and took on the role of sports director. He eventually sold the squad to Russian millionaire Oleg Tinkov in December 2013, when the team's name became Tinkoff-Saxo.
 
He built a formidable squad and made the marquee signing of Alberto Contador in 2011 before adding Peter Sagan this season.
 
However, he was fired in March amid rumours that Tinkov was unhappy with the team's poor results in the early part of this season.

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‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

The Danish Road Safety Council has put the Scandinavian country's Viking past to a hilarious new use: convincing macho Danish men to wear cycle helmets.

'The Vikings also wore helmets': Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad
Svend the Viking does not want to ruin his braids. Photo: &Co

The council’s new advert, “Helmet has always been a good idea”, brings together two somewhat incongruous aspects of Danish life — the country’s love of cycling and its Viking past, using humour to show up some of the silly reasons people give themselves not to wear cycle helmets. 

The advert starts with the imposing Viking chief Svend rousing his men for their next invasion of England. To rhythmic chanting and the blowing of horns, he mounts his steed, brandishing his thick and heavy sword. 

Then, suddenly, his young son comes running bearing his helmet. Svend ignores him, and utters a cry: “To the ships!”. 

After a pause, one of his men nervously asks: “shouldn’t you have a helmet on, Svend?”. 

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” Svend responds sheepishly. 

“I’m a careful rider,” he adds, slightly desperately.

“What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?” he adds. 

Then he roars, “It ruins my braids!” 

It’s only when his wife comes out that he finally dons his gleaming headpiece and with the cheers of his fellow marauders all around him makes his way to the longships. 

Then the slogan — “A helmet has been a good idea for all time” — appears on the screen in rune-like writing. 

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