Interesting thing … I just finished reading David Walsh’s newest book, From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France.

In the Author’s Note (after the Epilogue):

Four years ago, I traveled to Milan to meet a young American who had recently moved from Colorado to Italy. He told a story about a friend of his, a European-born professional cyclist, who had asked this young man to bring to Italy a pair of favorite cycling shoes he had unintentionally left in the United States. The shoes were dropped off at the young man’s house in Boulder—a friend of the owner of the shoes just left the package at this young man’s door. As it turned out, the traveler didn’t have much spare room, but he figured he could squeeze in the shoes if he took them out of the package and packed the two shoes separately.

Inside the package were 8 cartons of bovine hemoglobin.

From VeloNews this past Friday:

A former amateur mountain-bike racer alleged Thursday that Tour de France yellow-jersey holder Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) attempted to trick him into carrying illegal doping products to Europe in 2002.

Whitney Richards, 31, a one-time Colorado-based cross-country racer, told VeloNews that in March of 2002, Rasmussen asked him to transport a box containing cycling shoes. But the shoebox, according to Richards, actually contained bags of an American-made human blood substitute. None of the information Richards provided VeloNews involves allegations of current doping.

Looks like we’ve now got a name to go with this mention in Walsh’s book …

And, knowing that there would have to be some lead time for Walsh’s book; AND that there’s no way they could have known that Rasmussen would be leading the Tour at this point, I’m thinking that the story is true … At the very least, Whitney Richard has been telling it long enough to give it some sense of credibility, since he told it to Walsh in 2002/2003.