British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC Sport cycling

Watch Sport news bulletin

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 22:38 UK

Kohl admits to failed doping test

Bernhard Kohl
Kohl won the King of the Mountains jersey and finished third overall

Cyclist Bernhard Kohl has admitted to taking a banned substance during this year's Tour de France, saying he "succumbed to temptation".

The 26-year-old climbing specialist is the fourth rider to test positive for Cera, a version of blood booster EPO.

The Austrian won the King of the Mountains jersey as the best climber on this year's Tour and was third overall.

"I have only myself to blame for this mess," said the rider, who now faces a two-year ban from the sport.

"I had a bad feeling to have cheated so many fans and all of Austria, so many young people who became enthusiastic about the sport because of me.

"It was not a good feeling and that's why I'm relieved the truth is out.

"I thought this medication could not be traced but it could be traced. I hope every medication can be traceable in future. I would like to play my part so the sport becomes cleaner."

Kohl's Gerolsteiner team-mate Stefan Schumacher, plus Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Ricco, have also failed Cera tests.

Kohl took third overall behind winner Carlos Sastre and Cadel Evans this year in one of the closest podium finishes in the 105-year history of the Tour.

France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD) revealed in September that it would be re-testing blood samples from some riders after it discovered a more effective test for Cera.

Ricco tested positive for the blood-boosting drug during the race, and on 6 October, his fellow Italian and Saunier Duval team-mate Piepoli was also revealed to have used Cera, along with Schumacher.

Just a week later, the Tour, which has been persistently dogged by doping scandals, has been rocked by the news of Kohl's failed test.

An AFLD statement said: "The AFLD confirms that its laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry has found two abnormal samples showing the presence of EPO Cera in blood tests done on 3 and 15 July, before and during the Tour de France, on Austrian cyclist Bernard Kohl."

The Gerolsteiner team will disband at the end of the year, while Kohl had signed a three-year contract with Silence.

Ricco, who has been banned for two years, and Piepoli were sacked by Saunier Duval in July, the latter for "violation of the team's ethics code".

The AFLD has not said whether it has now completed the re-testing of samples, leaving open the possibility of more positive results.

Two other riders, Spaniards Manuel Beltran and Moises Duenas Nevado, tested positive for an older version of EPO during the Tour itself, and Kazakhstan's Dmitri Fofonov failed a test for heptaminol after stage 18.

The discovery of a new test for Cera has prompted the International Olympic Committee to retest 5,000 samples from the Beijing Games.

see also
IOC to re-examine Beijing samples
09 Oct 08 |  Olympics
Sastre wins Tour de France crown
27 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Spanish rider Nevado fails test
16 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Spaniard Beltran tests positive
11 Jul 08 |  Cycling

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Explore the BBC

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.