Jorg Jaksche interview: reflecting on the past
Jörg Jaksche is a 40-year-old who has been referenced in the media again in recent weeks. He offered some comments in reaction to recent news about ‘Therapeutic Use Exemptions’ (TUEs) in cycling.
The former professional cyclist is a confessed doper. His racing days came to an early end after he decided to admit to cheating throughout his career.
Jaksche featured in an interview in RIDE #72 (published in May this year) where he explained some details of the doping investigation ‘Operacion Puerto’. He was one of many clients of Dr Fuentes and he has explained that he’s used myriad methods of doping during his time as a pro cyclist, including blood bags, EPO and cortisone.
One of the people implicated in the recent TUE debacle is Bradley Wiggins who appeared in a BBC interview with Andrew Marr on the weekend.
“I think they were abusing that drug in that era,” said Wiggins of the likes of Jaksche and David Millar who have offered opinions on the performance enhancing benefits of cortisone.
“So they were simply taking more of it?” replied Marr.
“More of it,” states Wiggins, “and abusing it.”
We invited Jaksche back to the RIDE office to offer a response to the comments by Wiggins and talk about his use of cortisone.
“At my time, when we were racing, we were using it mainly in order to improve [our] performance,” explained Jaksche on Monday.
“You would have a fake TUE – Theraputic Use Exemption – for whatever illness or physical problem.
“And then the team doctor would apply for a TUE and then the UCI would grant it and say, ‘Yeah, you can take cortisone.’”
None of this is new. The exploitation of TUEs has long been a topic of discussion in the cycling world. But it’s back in the news again this week because of Wiggins and others who have been ‘exposed’ by recent hacking of WADA files.
What Jaksche finds curious, after all that cycling has been through in with issues relating to doping is that “they actually trust the team doctors”.
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Those implicated in the recent TUE drama are trying to explain their take on the matter but Jaksche continues with his ‘new’ life. He’s studying international business at the University of NSW in Sydney but he still follows professional cycling.
During his visit, the opportunity to discuss some of his career came up and we begin our interview with an explanation from Jaksche about how he initially decided that he would cross the line and become a doper.
(Watch the YouTube clip below to see part of our interview with Jaksche.)
It’s a long interview but we decided to keep the camera rolling.
Jaksche goes on to talk about:
- Riding for Oleg Tinkov during the Russian’s early tenure as a team sponsor.
- How he’s managed retirement.
- Why he still rides his bike.
- And, finally, the incident of stage nine of the 2003 Tour de France when he watched team-mate Joseba Beloki crash out of contention for the title… and effectively end his racing career.
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