Austria suspends Kugler for two years

Doping case related to HumanPlasma blood clinic

The Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency has suspended Josef Kugler for two years. It is one of the first suspensions resulting from the HumanPlasma blood clinic investigation.

Kugler, who rode for the Continental-ranked Arbö-KTM-Gebrüder Weiss team, was found to have used a illegal doping techniques. Charges that he had sold forbidden substances were dismissed.

According to the NADA, Kugler and two other cyclists had blood taken at the HumanPlasma blood clinic in Vienna in December 2005 “for the production and storage of red blood cells” in order to increase the performance of their own blood.

The blood was never transfused back into Kugler, but the attempt to undertake such doping counts as a violation, the NADA ruled.

The suspension runs for two years as of December 20, 2010.

Kugler and his teammates Michael Knopf and Hannes Gründlinger were all excluded from the Tour of Austria this summer on suspicion of having violated anti-doping regulations. The NADA announced Thursday that the procedure against Knopf was continuing.

Gründlinger was suspended for six years in August of this year, He admitted to ordering, buying, owning and using forbidden substances, as well as distributing them to others. His ban was backdated to start December 31, 2006.

Numerous athletes have been linked with the HumanPlasma blood clinic, Bernhard Kohl has admitted to being a client for blood transfusions.

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