Knud Enemark Jensen

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameKnud Enemark•Jensen
Used nameKnud Enemark•Jensen
Born30 November 1936 in Århus (Aarhus) (DEN)
Died26 August 1960 in Roma, Roma (ITA)
Measurements174 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsAAC, Århus (DEN)
NOC Denmark

Biography

Knud Enemark Jensen first came to prominence in Danish cycling in 1959 when he had six podium finishes, and three wins, in the Københavns district. He moved to København and married the niece of former Olympic champion, Henry Hansen. In 1960, Enemark Jensen rode for Denmark in the team time trial at the Nordic Championships, helping them to a silver medal, and was selected for the Olympic team.

The day of the Roma team time trial was extremely hot, with temperatures reaching 42° C. (108° F.). Both Enemark Jensen and his teammate, Jørgen Jørgensen had difficulty with the heat. About 20 km from the finish, Enemark Jensen collapsed and fell from the effects of heatstroke, hitting his head. He was quickly taken by military ambulance to Sant Eugenio Hospital, but fell into a coma and died later that day. The cause of death was listed as a brain injury secondary to a skull fracture from the fall. However, great controversy surrounded the incident, as a trainer for the Danish team admitted that he had given the riders Roniacol, an amphetamine-like substance that acts as a peripheral vasodilator, although he later retracted that statement. But initial reports from the hospital noted that Enemark Jensen’s toxicology screen contained multiple drugs, including various amphetamines. This was later denied by the authorities, and later Danish cycling, and Rome reports do not mention drugs as a possible cause of death and attribute it solely to the skull fracture. However, Davis Maraniss’s book Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World, noted, “Decades later a Danish journalist tracked down Doctor Alberto Marpiori, one the Italians who had performed Jensen’s autopsy. The doctor said that he remembered the case well as it was the first time his institute had found evidence of doping. He said several substances, including amphetamines, were found in Jensen’s system.” Enemark Jensen’s death was one impetus that led the IOC to begin testing for drugs at the 1968 Olympic Games.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Cycling Road (Cycling) DEN Knud Enemark Jensen
100 kilometres Team Time Trial, Men (Olympic) Denmark DNF

Special Notes