Team Jumbo-Visma took all three Grand Tours in 2023, and swept the Vuelta a España, but can’t dodge questions about doping. Just like during the Tour de France, media asked questions about the possibility of illegal performance-enhancing products being used at the Dutch team. Although Jonas Vingegaard, Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglič have been tested throughout the year several times and not tested positive, their German teammate Michel Hessmann tested positive for a diuretic in an out-of-competition test.
At the post-race press conference, all three Jumbo riders were asked about doping.
Jonas Vingegaard on skepticism
“For sure we understand the skepticism that there is but people also need to know how much we sacrifice for everything and how much we do everything in detail. We go into every detail to be as good as possible,” Vingegaard said. “I think that especially in this team, we do everything perfectly and it makes such a big difference, and I don’t think that people realize how much of a difference it makes.”
The 2022 and 2023 Tour de France winner said that it is always good to be skeptical, especially when a team is doing well.
“As long as it’s not allegations,” he added. “As long as we speak about it, because of what happened 20 years ago, then I think that will prevent it from happening again.”
Doping is not an option
When asked point blank if his teammates were doping, he answered with confidence.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that my two teammates, Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglič are not taking anything as well as myself.”
Roglič echoed the Dane’s comments. “My colleague, Jonas, already explained it super good,” he said. “I mean, everyone has an option or possibility to have doubts or their own opinions, but for me personally what I can say is that we put a lot of hard work in, making sacrifices each week.”
The Vuelta winner, Kuss said doping is not an option. “I think for me personally, cheating or doping is just out of the question because it’s not even sports for me then.”