ETeam Jumbo-Visma, which will be called Visma-Lease a Bike from January 1, 2024, presented its new colors, names and objectives in Amsterdam. A squad of 28 men, the best team in the world… but with a strange case in their ranks. One cyclist was missing, the Teutonic Michel Hessmann (Munster, Germany, 2001). He is still on the team… despite his positive for doping in July 2023. Nobody says anything and while his future is totally up in the air, he is still part of the team that dominated the three Grand Tours of the last year.
Hessmann was one of Primoz Roglic’s teammates in his narrow victory in the last edition of the Giro d’Italia. Two weeks later and in an out-of-competition test he tested positive for a diuretic. Jumbo suspended him, but the story did not advance. “It takes time. We have to wait for the German Anti-Doping Authority to can take the next step. The question is whether there will be an official accusation or not. Michel is inactive and that is why he did not participate in the presentation del equipo”, says Merijn Zeeman, director of Visma-Lease a Bike, a ‘WielerFits’.
Why does Hessmann still not have a sanction? The theory says that her positive was a control by the German agency, so it depends on its jurisdiction. The UCI, as ‘Wielerfits’ tells us, remains informed…but does not take action on the matter. Therefore, the man from Münster cannot compete, but he is not sanctioned.
The Dutch portal reveals this silence around the young German promise. Her future is up in the air, although at the moment she is still a cyclist for the best team in the world. His last race on a bicycle dates back to the World Cup in Glasgow.