Currently-retired professional rider, Lieuwe Westra, has admitted to buying tramadol and also caffeine to enhance his cycling performance in several cases during his cycling career.
This news were made public a few days after it was revealed that Westra had faked several injuries in order to receive therapeutic use injections. Mostly before major and important races. It was also revealed that he had paid another cyclist to allow him to grab his first pro victory.
Yesterday, the ex-rider, in his new autobiography, The Beast, admitted to using the controversial but legal painkiller called tramadol. The reason: to help him with his individual time trials’ performances.
The Dutchman claimed that he had used 600mg of caffeine pills to help his body produce and have more energy. One of the cases he used this performance-enhancer method was during Three Days of De Panne in Belgium. The rider eventually won the race after fishing in third position during the individual time trial.
“People say: ‘why do you use tramadol? Why an inhaler? You do not have asthma anyway’,” Westra told De Volkskrant about his TUE use during an interview about his new book release.
“The answer is simple: because it is legal and because you will perform better. And if I do not, someone else will. That’s what a cyclist thinks.”
Shocked about the news
Soon after the former cyclist, who retired at the beginning of 2017, age 34, made these facts public, Astana admitted to being shocked about these revelations and could even demand compensation from him.
“We’re shocked about the news. We want to make clear that at Astana Pro Team forbidden drugs will never be provided to any rider,” Astana team said.
“In case that the use of prohibited drugs really took place, Astana Team reserves the right to demand financial compensation from the rider. Since the use of doping is strictly prohibited by the internal regulations of the team. Which is also signed by each rider.”
— Astana Pro Team (@AstanaTeam) May 2, 2018