B sample confirms Jumbo-Visma's Michel Hessmann took prohibited substance

German rider faces a ban from cycling and even criminal prosecution

Clock12:52, Friday 3rd November 2023
Michel Hessmann last rode for Jumbo-Visma at the Czech Tour, but was suspended by the team in August

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Michel Hessmann last rode for Jumbo-Visma at the Czech Tour, but was suspended by the team in August

At the request of German newspaper Badische Zeitung, the National German Anti-Doping Agency (NADA Germany) has confirmed that Jumbo-Visma rider Michel Hessmann's anti-doping violation has been upheld by analysis of his B sample.

The German rider tested positive for a diuretic medicine on June 14 in an out-of-competition test, and this A sample result has subsequently been supported by the B sample.

As written by the press officer for NADA Germany, Eva Bunthoff, the two samples show "sufficient evidence of a violation of anti-doping rules" and, in turn, Hessmann can now await a suspension from the UCI and potential public prosecution in Germany.

Since 2015, doping has been a criminal offence in Germany and, as a resident of Merzhausen, the 22-year-old is liable for charges from the Public Prosecution Service (OM).

Initial investigations into the athlete began in the summer following his positive doping test, with his residency searched and electronic items taken away to be analysed.

With his B sample result confirming that of the A sample, Hessmann will face charges of having administered a so-far unnamed diuretic medicine. Such prohibited substances carry a maximum suspension of up to four years by the UCI. For the time being, Hessmann remains suspended by Jumbo-Visma but as of yet, they have not commented on NADA Germany's revelation.

It must be noted that, although doping can carry up to a three-year prison sentence in Germany, no athlete has yet served time behind bars for such an offence. Instead, a fine is much more likely to be the punishment handed down to Hessmann.

For a team that won all three Grand Tours in 2023, the Hessmann affair is a blotch on Jumbo-Visma's season, with the German riding in service of the eventual Giro d'Italia champion, Primož Roglič, in May. This was to be Hessmann's last race before the positive doping test, though he would also race the Czech Tour and the UCI World Championships Road Race in August before the case emerged.

Hessmann has ridden for the Dutch superteam since 2020, with two years in the Development Team followed by three years in the WorldTour ranks.

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