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Jonas Vingegaard has confirmed to a Danish newspaper he missed a dope test four years ago, saying he missed the testers when they called to his home (Photo: Jonathan Biche)

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) missed a dope test in 2019, saying a combination of setting his phone aside at home, and a broken doorbell, meant he did not realise when the testers called to his home. He added they returned two days later and he was tested.

The news was reported by Danish tabloid newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, a week ago, though only emerged in the English-language cycling media today. It is unclear if the Tour de France champion raised the missed test himself in an interview, or if the newspaper learned of it, put questions to the Dane’s camp and Vingegaard agreed to be interviewed.

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“I had left my mobile in the kitchen, and then our doorbell didn’t work,” he told Extra Magazine. “Then they tried to call me, and then it’s clear that it’s impossible to take it.

“It’s not cool, of course. But then they came two days later. You will then be tested, but of course it is not cool to have a missed test hanging over you. It is definitely something I thought about afterwards, to be better at preventing it from happening.”

While missing the test – carried out under the Whereabouts system – is not a doping offence, and therefore no sanction arises, it is the second negative news story for his team in a matter of months. One of its young riders, 22-year-old German Michel Hessmann, tested positive for a banned diuretic in June.

News of that test result, since confirmed in a ‘B’ test, emerged in mid August when the team suspended him. He remains under investigation, including by the German anti-doping authorities which carried out the test.

“I don’t know how it got into his body,” Vingegaard said of Hessmann. “But I think every cyclist’s biggest fear is that you get it through some food or something you eat, and that way test positive without your intention being cheating, but you still get it into your body.”

The Tour champion said he often made himself available to be tested between 7-8am, especially when he was at home, adding he was tested between 60 and 70 times this year, including at races.

“I don’t think it’s that difficult,” he said of having to provide daily time and location information so a rider could be tested within a window each day. “You always have to remember it. It’s a hassle, but when I’m just at home, it’s not so difficult.

“You are tested every time you win and have the leader’s jersey; 60-70 times I think (this year). Sometimes it’s just a urine test. Sometimes only blood test, and sometimes both,” he said, adding he believed what happened in cycling “20 or 30 years ago” was still hanging over the sport.

“I don’t want to hide it, but because it has happened, I still think it’s important to talk about the past,” he said. “Because if you just sweep it under the carpet, then it’s clear that people might still not care if everyone cheats.

“If you talk about it, there’s a better chance that you won’t cheat, I think. Maybe it’s a way to prevent it from happening in the future. I don’t take anything, and I don’t think that the rest of the peloton does either. Since I can win the Tour de France twice without taking anything, I also believe that everyone else doesn’t take anything either.”

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