Austrian cyclist Kohl admits to doping

October 16th, 2008 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Oct 16 (DPA) Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl admitted that he was guilty of doping during this year’s Tour de France.Kohl finished third in the race and recently was one of four cyclists who tested positive to the third generation of the blood booster EPO, known as CERA, during re-tests of samples gathered at the Tour de France.

The 26-year-old Wednesday told Austrian state television that he would not demand his B sample be tested.

Kohl, who had tears in his eyes during the interview, said: “I gave in to temptation because the pressure to succeed was so huge. I am just a human being and like many others became weak in a unique situation.”

He said that his Gerolsteiner team-boss Hans-Michael Holczer knew nothing about his doping.

“There was no systematic doping in the team during the time I was with Gerolsteiner. That is why I am particularly sad to have disappointed him,” he said.

Kohl’s team-mate Stefan Schumacher, who also tested positive for CERA, has not yet commented on the findings, but has consistently denied doping.

Meanwhile Kohl’s and Schumacher’s team-mates issued a public letter Wednesday in which they said they were disappointed with the two.

“We regard it as important to distance ourselves from our former team-mates Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl. The manner in which we were deceived and disappointed is very difficult to put into words.

“We call on Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl to tell the truth without holding back anything. Name those who knew about it, those who gave you the drugs, those who advised you and give the background and those behind the scenes. Your time in cycling is finished,” they wrote.

Kohl and Schumacher, who won both time-trials at the Tour and wore the race leaders yellow jersey for two days, face a two-year ban from the sport.

Also Wednesday the president of the sport’s controlling body UCI Pat McQuaid said that he considered a two-year ban for doping to be too lenient.

“Currently the world anti-doping code gives a maximum two-year sanction in the case of a positive test. From the first of January there is a bit more flexibility in it, and we can go up to a four-year ban in the cases of something regarded as willful cheating,” McQuaid told the website cyclingnews.

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