“It appears to have been a contamination" - Richard Plugge remains steadfast in his defence of Michel Hessmann's positive doping test

Team Visma | Lease a Bike remain one rider down whilst the details surrounding Michel Hessmann's doping case continue to be investigated. Team boss Richard Plugge however, continues to be steadfast in his defence of the German.

“It takes a lot of time. We know the results of the A sample and the B sample, which were positive. Now it is up to NADA, the German doping authority," Plugge tells the RadioCycling podcast when asked for an update on the case of Hessmann, who's not been seen in action since the Glasgow World Championships. "I think it is up to them to be the first to say whether or not there will be a suspension. We are still waiting for that. For the rider himself, on a personal level, it is of course very frustrating that it takes so long. But yes, we have to wait for those procedures.”

Hessmann has always denied deliberately doping with Plugge and Team Visma | Lease a Bike giving him their full backing. So if not deliberate, how could both samples have tested positive? Plugge thinks he knows the answer to that conundrum.

“It appears to have been a contamination. That may also take some time, because he will then have to defend himself," he explains. "I read something about a Belgian rider (Shari Bossuyt, ed.) and it may take a long time before there is a final judgement. On the one hand, I understand that, because you have to be very careful and thorough in what you do, but it is frustrating and difficult to deal with if you are a young rider who wants to race. We have to wait for the official results from NADA.”

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments