The Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency has suspended Michael Knopf for four years, for passing along a forbidden substance to another rider. It dismissed charges that Knopf himself bought or used doping products or methods.
Knopf and two of this Arbö-KTM-Gebrüder Weiss teammates were all excluded from the Tour of Austria last year on suspicion of having violated anti-doping regulations. Hannes Gründlinger was suspended for six years on charges of ordering, buying, owning, using and distributing forbidden substances. Josef Kugler was given two years for blood doping.
The NADA decided to ban Knopf for four years despite what it called “contradictory evidence.” It said that the evidence that Knopf gave forbidden substances to another rider “was conclusive and believable” .
On the other hand, it ruled that the evidence that Knopf used forbidden substances or methods was inconclusive.
The ban runs as of June 28, 2010, when he was first temporarily suspended.
Knopf, 30, turned pro wit the Slovakian team Sava in 2005, and rode for Swiag in 2007, before joining the Arbö team, under various team names, in 2008.