Retired Danish professional cyclist Michael Rasmussen, who earlier this year admitted to doping, said on Sunday he even persuaded his father to donate blood as part of efforts to conceal doping.
“It felt like stepping over the line,” Rasmussen said about approaching his father, Finn, about donating blood to be used for blood doping.
“It was not easy,” Rasmussen said about the conversation with his parents.
“But they were aware I took medicine to race faster.”
Danish public broadcaster DR was to air the exclusive interview on Sunday evening.
Rasmussen said he felt he needed to use the same methods as his rivals to keep pace.
In 2003 he discussed various blood doping with his cycling team’s physician, who mentioned the method known as homologous doping where blood from a second person is used.
The following year Rasmussen’s father went to Belgium where his blood was analysed in a hotel room after the La Fleche Wallonne race, the former cyclist said.
“The blood samples were analysed and we discovered they were not compatible,” Rasmussen said.
“It (the blood doping) never took place.”
DR News said team Rabobank, which Rasmussen raced for at the time, declined to comment about the allegations.
Rasmussen’s parents told DR while they were shocked over the extensive use of various substances in cycling, they hoped his disclosures would help clean up the sport and help him move on.
“It is wrong that he is the only person to be branded a cheat,” Finn Rasmussen said.
“Our impression was that there was a culture (of doping).”
Rasmussen in January admitted to using a wide range of performance-enhancing drugs over a 12-year period from 1998, and has since cooperated with the Danish anti-doping agency.
Rasmussen was forced to pull out of the 2007 Tour de France, while seemingly heading towards an overall victory amid controversy surrounding the non-disclosure of his prior whereabouts to cycling officials, preventing them from conducting doping tests.