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Kohl admits doping

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
October 16, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:38 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, October 16, 2008
Bernhard Kohl

Bernhard Kohl

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Two days after news broke that he had tested positive , Austrian Bernhard Kohl, who won the...

Two days after news broke that he had tested positive, Austrian Bernhard Kohl, who won the mountains jersey and finished third in the Tour de France, admitted that he doped with EPO CERA. He spoke of his offenses on Wednesday evening in a press conference in Vienna, Austria.

The 26-year-old Kohl accepted responsibility for doping and said in a statement that he was withdrawing his option to have his B samples tested. Two of Kohl's A samples had tested positive after testing by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD).

"I want to clean the slate," said a tearful Kohl in a conference broadcast by Austrian television.

The AFP reported that he began doping following a crash at the Dauphiné. Kohl said his team, including Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer had no knowledge of his doping, which he undertook on his own. Kohl also apologized to Holczer, who had previously said he felt "betrayed" by Kohl's actions.

"I succumbed to temptation. The pressure was incredibly strong. I am only a human being and in this exceptional situation, I showed weakness," Kohl said.

Kohl had previously announced that he would speak at a press conference on Thursday in Vienna, but instead he talked on Wednesday evening to the ORF and other media at the Viennese airport.

Kohl faces a possible suspension of up to two years plus a fine of one year's salary and presumably the return of his winnings from the Tour de France. Prior to news of his doping, Kohl had signed a contract with Silence - Lotto, the team of Cadel Evans, who finished second at the Tour de France.

Riccardo Riccò became the first pro cyclist to admit doping with EPO CERA earlier this summer after he was caught doping following testing of his urine samples from the Tour de France. In the interim, Stefan Schumacher and Leonardo Piepoli have also tested positive for the same substance.

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