The Kim Andersen Files – An Update

Previously on the Kim Andersen Files: the Danish Team Leopard - sorry LEOPARD TREK - directeur sportif and one-time pro tested positive multiple times between 1985 and 1992. I listed five cases: an Italian race in 1985; the Flèche Wallonne and the Tour of Northwest Switzerland in 1986; the Tour du Limousin in 1987; and an unidentified race in 1992.

This time: Those muckrakers at Cyclisme Dopage (guys, haven't you got Phat Pat's memo? The past is the past! Build a bridge and get over it!) have seven offences listed for the great Dane. They are:

1985: Tour du Latium (positive for norephidrine)

1985: Coppa Placci

1986: Paris-Camembert (which he won)

1986: Flèche Wallonne (where he finished second)

1986: Tour of Northwest Switzerland

1987: Tour du Limousin (positive for testosterone)

1992: Amstel Gold Race (positive for amineptine)

In 1987, it took three strikes in two years to get a life-time ban. It was the 1987 positive at the Tour du Limousin which triggered this in Andersen's case. Here's how Andersen explained getting off that offence, to Sam Abt, quoted in his In High Gear:

"The French federation took two months - such a long time - to notify the Danish federation. The rules say that a positive result must be made known within six days and the second test must be within ten days. The Danish federation rejected the positive finding because it was unfair."

How come Andersen didn't get a life-time ban just for his three offences in 1986? I know that the Tour of Northwest Switzerland positive was effectively wiped, on the basis that he should have been serving the ban triggered by his Flèche Wallonne positive. I can only presume that the same excuse was applied to the Paris-Camembert positive, that all three 1987 offences were treated as one (Camembert is, I think, a Spring race, so that time-frame would fit).

Cyclisme Dopage seem to have some doubt about the two positives they list for 1985, saying "Doubt remains on the two checks in 1985." There was definitley one Italian positive in 1985. Maybe Cyclisme Dopage have the second one misattributed. Either that's the case here, and there's'only one 1985 positive, or the two 1985 busts must have been treated as one by the Danish federation, on the same principle as the 1986 busts (or maybe the Danes just love the  Spice Girls' ditty, When Two Become One).

Last time out, I was making fun of the toothlessness of Bernard Tapie's zero tolerance policy. Sam Abt asked Andersen about that, in 1988. Here's he explained not being fired after his 1986 offences:

"A doctor in Italy testified that it wasn't my fault, that he knew I wasn't trying to do anything wrong. I can't explain why I tested positive there [at the Flèche Wallonne and the other two 1986 offences] or again last year [1987, at the Tour du Limousin]. Personally I don't understand it. I was tested in Denmark five days after the race and they found nothing. I was tested in France two weeks before and they found nothing."

For fans of dopey doping excuses, here's how Andersen explained his 1987 Tour du Limousin positive to Abt:

"I can't explain it. I talked to Charly Bérard [a La Vie Claire/Toshiba team-mate] and Francis Castaing, who both tested positive too [Bérard also at the 1987 Tour du Limousin and Castaing at the 1987 Tour of the European Community] and like me they don't take testosterone. None of us can understand or explain it. All I can think of is that my body produced an excess of testosterone and that's what showed up in the drug test."

Cyclisme Dopage also have a couple of other explanations offered by Andersen. In 1987, after his Tour du Limousin bust, he had this to say to L'Equipe:  "Since I tested positive twice, I take all my precautions. I'm not a jerk!"

Of his Amstel positive in 1992, Andersen had this to say to L'Equipe: "At the Amstel, I went calmly to the [doping] control. I never thought I was positive. [...] It is a product that was not on the list in 1991 and has been there only since this year." And, later in the year, he said this to Sport Magazine: "I'm not like Ben Johnson, who has resorted to artificial means to improve his times."

Cyclisme Dopage also have some funny quotes from Andersen's peers. Like Bernard Hinault, referring to the Dane's 1985 positive(s) (and, presumably, La Vie Claire's zero tolerance policy): "Pas de dopé chez moi."

Or there's Roger Legeay, speaking in 2000 on why he recruited such a recidivist doper to Z-Peugeot: "J'ai été faible." At least Legeay wasn't weak in 1992 when Andersen popped a positive yet again. What's even nicer about the way Legeay dealt with that case is that, in 1992, the UCI were burying positives, not releasing the names of the guilty, and the world might have been none the wiser about it had Legeay not shown what a zero tolerance policy really means.

One more, which Cyclisme Dopage don't have, comes from Greg LeMond in 2001: "Every rider on La Vie Claire was clean; that was Paul Köchli's big deal to make sure he had a clean team." Some La Vie Claire riders do seem to have made it through clean, like Steve Bauer and Andy Hampsten. And Greg LeMond. Though I would like to know what he saw in François Bellocq.

* * * * *

So just to be clear on this: Kim Andersen tested positive either seven times, six times (if Cyclisme Dopage have the two Italian offences confused) or - if you're very, very, very generous - three times (you'd have to take a strict reading of only offences he was actually sanctioned for (ie 1985, a suspended sentence; 1986, an actual suspension; and 1992, another suspended sentence) and not count the multiple offences the Danish federation did a smoke and mirrors trick on).

Whatever way you cut it, Andersen did not test positive only twice, which is what Daniel Benson at Cycling News keeps suggesting. By coincidence - it can only be a coincidence, for I can't imagine CN ever trusting this as a primary source - that's also the number of offences detailed on Andersen's Wiki page.

Believe it or not, Andersen is not the worst offender on Cyclisme Dopage's long list of dopers. If he had seven busts, he's joint first, while if he 'only' had six then he's joint second (and it's quite a crowded second place).

Who's the man who beats Andersen's record? Djamolidine Abdoujaparov - the famed Tashkent Terror, who wiped out in spectacular fashion on the Champs Elysées one year - whose seven offences were: one in 1989 (ephedrine) and six in 1997 (all for Bromantan and Clenbuterol). Yes, that's right, SIX (!!!!!!) offences in one year: the Three Days of de Panne, the Four Days of Dunkerque, the Côte Picarde, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, the GP Rennes, and - the only one I know of to make the headlines -  the Tour de France. He got a one year ban and retired at the end of the season.