CyclingNews.com reports that German press agency SID reported that Hans-Michael Holczer in his new book about managing Team Gerolsteiner claims that Levi Leipheimer, his team leader for the 2005 Tour de France showed a high-probability of manipulating his blood.
“Garantiert Postiv” or “Guaranteed Positive” is the name of Holczer’s new book and in it he alleges the UCI asked him to find a reason to remove Leipheimer due to off-score co-efficient of 132.8, which is only 0.2 below the 133 limit,, which would have mandated his removal and would have been considered evidence of doping. A normal score is 85-95.
His frankness of being caught between a rock and a hard place with the UCI asking him to find a reason to remove Leipheimer from the race on the first rest day of the 2005 Tour in Grenoble. He felt he could not do this for two reasons, the legal implications and his team had already had a positive rider earlier in the season, Danilo Hondo, his team’s sponsor Gerosteiner had made it clear that they would immediately pull their sponsorship if there was a second positive. This would have bankrupted him and the team, causing great hardships on the riders and other employees. “I was caught between a moral obligation and a legal threat,” Holczer said SID during his book presentation.
Leipheimer finished sixth that year 11:21 behind former teammate Lance Armstrong. Leipheimer could join a long list of former teammates of Armstrong’s who have been charged or accused of dopping including, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton.
Levi Leipheimer of the US trains on the time trial track in the center of Rotterdam, Netherlands, Friday July 2, 2010. The race starts on Saturday July 3, 2010, with an individual time trial over 8,9 kilometers (5.5 miles) in Rotterdam. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)