Museeuw spreekt


Johan at the launch of the book

Today at the Tour of Flanders Center author Rik Vanwalleghem introduced his book Museeuw spreekt. It is a story of what  Johan experienced between September 4, 2003, the day of the search following the Landuyt case and December 16, 2008 when the court finally found The Lion of Flanders guilty of doping.

It is a story of guilt and how the cycling champion was   discredited by his use of EPO. Author Rik Vanwalleghem outlined in six chapters this difficult period in Johan Museeuw’s life.

The book reveals how Museeuw bought EPO. “I went to Cologne, I parked in an underground garage near a pharmacy. I was a little disguised with reading glasses on my nose. On the counter I put a piece of paper with what I needed. The pharmacist said something I did not understand and then came back with a box. He took it and I paid cash. It was between fifty and one hundred euros. The pharmacist asked nothing, gave no further explanation. Apparently Aranesp and EPO were freely available in Germany, Museeuw claims.

“With this book I want to tell what happened to me since that conscious decision on Thursday, September 4, 2003.” stated Museeuw. “I want this book to close a chapter in my life.  Museeuw said that he delayed publication of the book until after the court verdict.

“I want to show that I am a man of flesh and blood. I could not say goodbye to cycling. I sat on a cloud, I was a king and wanted to sit on the throne.  I resorted to EPO to prolong my career. At first I denied everything during my first confrontation with the investigators. In the course of time, however, I stood with my back against the wall and I had to come out with the truth.  That is why I still can give as much detail. As a cyclist I thought I was untouchable, but now knows that it was just the opposite, “he claimed.

“The case received much attention in the media. The case was suddenly the Landuyt and Museeuw case. I was addicted to winning and when it became clear that it was no longer possible I simply searched for an alternative.  This book is about a person, myself. I am also pleased that some wrinkles are now ironed smooth. I have recently, quite by accident, a conversation with my best friend Wilfried Peeters when we have been talking about different things. It was a heavy punishment from the court as a criminal which I am not. I have only used EPO. I would like to come back in cycling. If I was asked as an official at the Tour of Flanders. The offer I have eagerly adopted. I want to go back into the belly of cycling squad “said Museeuw.

Rik Vanwalleghem said “It is not a real cycling book.” There is no record of Johan Museeuw. At first I refused to write this book. My relationship with Johan Museeuw had over the years become sour. And I was not the only one. Like many fellow journalists I was fed up with his arrogant attitude towards the media “.

Vanwalleghem feels the book is a very sincere confession  even though he previously had numerous questions about the openness of Johan Museeuw.  “The book is not my version of the facts but a kind of monologue of the rider himself” he said.

The first print run is for six thousand copies and the publisher expects demand to be very high. The book has 183 pages and costs 19.95 euros.

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