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July 26, 2004

Former Postal doctor alleges doping interest

cyclingnews.com | Former US Postal doctor speaks out

Prentice Steffen, a US Postal team doctor in 1997, is alleging that he was sacked for refusing to supply drugs to Tyler Hamilton and Marty Jemison. US Postal maintains that Steffen, an emergency room doctor, "didn't have the expertise to be a cycling team doctor."

"[A]t that time, we were a small team with average ambitions. Everyone was clean. But one day, Marty Jemison and Tyler Hamilton came to ask me whether I could supply them with illegal products. I got the impression that they were speaking for everyone and that they had come to test the waters...To get to the top level, the team leaders were convinced that only doping would allow the team to obtain good results. From there, I understood that the whole mentality was changing."

Lance Armstrong joined the team for the next season, 1998.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 26, 2004 in Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink


"...Tyler Hamilton came to ask me whether I could supply them with illegal products."

With all of the talk of Armstrong "doping", I wonder if the same people will now speak of Tyler Hamilton's wins with the same sort of skepticism?

Posted by: weimdog at Jul 26, 2004 11:17:44 AM

With their new mentality probabily they signed cyclists that would fit in that mentality.. becouse i´m not seeing the working team mates consuming illegal products just to help the leader and, even being doped, they could´t catch with the leader. There is no superman..

Posted by: kio at Jul 26, 2004 7:09:56 PM

The domestiques help the leader beacuse it is what they are paid to do. As far as the doping is concerned,the riders before them did it, the new riders coming to try and take their jobs away are doing it. If a domestique is not willing to follow the program, he gets left off of the tour team. Only the strongest 9 riders on each team are sent. They dope to keep their jobs.

This is a business, its comes down to results and performance, friendship and buddy buddy stuff is out the window. If you can't contribute, you are not needed, and will not be there.

I don't buy Postals "zero tolerance" either. Look at Joachim Benoit, sacked for testing positive for nandralone in 2000, now back on the team.

That being said, Doping is rampant in all sports, its just a fact of life. Move on, and enjoy the show!

Posted by: Smoothie104 at Jul 27, 2004 1:00:15 PM

Actually, this does not say anything really. There is no evidence of anything, and no real allegations of illegal actions are being made against anyone. This doctor is being very irresponsible in throwing around innuendo with out anything specific.

Is he accusing any cyclists of doping? Fine - let's hear that directly, and let's see some proof. Vague generalizations just hurt people's reputations wtihout cause.

In regard to the post by weimdog (July 26, 2004 03:17 PM), why should anyone be skeptical about Hamilton? We have been given nothing to show he actually did anything wrong. Even if it were proven to be true that he asked about illegal drugs (which, this does not do), that is not a crime or even close to being a crime. FACTS! That is the only thing you can use to judge, and we just don't have any yet.

Posted by: Jane at Jul 28, 2004 2:31:46 PM

wake up.read up on how armstrong has treated discarded former employees: to carry the can or for non-compliance of secretive team rules,others do the sacking,he has built a very professional BUSINESS unit,he has not been an athlete per se since many years:
his motto is "the end justifies the means"
a very texan"attila the hun" approach,(great while it lasts but for shorterm gain),in his case not even before he retired like say merckx or hinault, nobody who knows anything about the last 30 years of cycling believes his record is clean.

Posted by: yakuza at Jan 6, 2005 1:58:39 PM

Are samples saved? Could more sophistocated tests be run on Lance's samples from past Tours to find drugs? Do they test retroactively? Is there a statute of limitations on drug testing?

Posted by: Hincapefan at Jan 6, 2005 7:00:46 PM