French triathlete Sam Laidlow published an emotional – and eye-catching – post a few days back in which he went full attack against the Von Berg family (specifically father Rodolphe von Berg Sr. and son/prof athlete Rudy von Berg) and a number of others, who would accuse him of using doping. You can read all the details here. Rodolphe von Berg Sr. saw it happen and feels compelled to respond. He sent a statement to the editors of Triathlon Today, which we have reproduced in full and which you can read below.
Statement Rodolphe von Berg Sr.
“Sam Laidlow, I am not slandering you. You are slandering me and my family by deliberately and maliciously choosing to convey the meaning of my PRIVATE email which was never meant to be public. A private communication between me and another party is my private business, not yours to do what you like with it. My email was private and was forwarded by mistake to a third person who shared it with you. It wasn’t even addressed to you. In private, I can say what I want to whom I want about anyone I want. Thus, I have not attacked nor accused you of anything, and don’t plan to threaten and insult you as you, shamefully, did to others.
“You are using my confidential email as a mean of lashing out at all the people in the Triathlon World who “for many years” have expressed “rumors that I am doped” (I have been receiving infos only since September 2023) and doubts about your stunning progression and your performances. At least, about my son, Rudy, there has never been the shadow of a doubt mentioned by anyone, I am proud to say. You have unfairly and unjustly attacked my son: “I have worked harder and smarter than your son”. How do you know? Also, my son was not even aware of my email, thus was not involved. Your mentioning him shows a despicable sense of ethics. You have also attacked Rudy’s mother by writing that she “accused me of doping”. A lie. My wife only showed “Surprise” at your Hawaii 2022 result. There are subjects-Horseau/injections among others-you are referring to that are not in my email, falsely making believe that I mentioned them.
“There is a lot that could be said about your contempt for the “old school people” (basically all triathletes and coaches over 40), and of the huge majority of the Professional Triathletes (since at Worlds Nice, you had “50w more than them”) who seem to be “frustrated athletes” with “no respect and ethics”. Thanks on their behalf. A lot also could be said about the Cenit Center and a kid that was “malnourished and overtrained from 13 to 18” and became the best in the world at 22-23.
“But I am not going to dwell anymore on your spiteful message because, having a son in the Sport, I wouldn’t want him to be hurt in any way, by ricochet. Triathlon does not need your disdain and hate.”