Austrian cyclist Kohl tested positive for doping

October 14th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Oct 14 (DPA) Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl tested positive for doping during the Tour de France this year, in which he won third place, Austrian news agency APA reported.The test showed Kohl, 26, had used the substance EPO CERA, said Andreas Schwab, the head of Austria’s national doping agency, after having been informed by the French doping agency.

“On one hand I am very disappointed that he tested positive, because of his fantastic performance at the Tour de France,” Schwab said. “On the other hand, I am happy one can detect more than was expected.”

Schwab stressed that Kohl was considered innocent until conclusive evidence was brought forward.

Geert Coeman, the head of Kohl’s new team Silence-Lotto said he had not spoken to the cyclist yet.

But if he was proved guilty of doping, Coeman said, “our contract with him is invalid. That’s a normal process.”

Kohl was the biggest surprise of the last Tour, coming in third, 73 seconds behind Spanish winner Carlos Sastre. The Austrian Gerolsteiner team member rode away with the Tour’s King of the Mountains title.

EPO CERA is a hormone that raises performance by helping the body transport more oxygen into muscles. It has to be injected every three to four weeks.

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