Bernhard Kohl is "terribly disappointed" over the two-year doping suspension handed down yesterday by the Austrian Anti-Doping Agency. He called it "the wrong signal and the wrong direction."
"It doesn't seem to matter whether you say nothing or admit everything and give detailed information," he said to ORF.at. If they had reduced the suspension "by even one day ... then I would have seen the sense of my openness. But that didn't happen. Rather, the anti-doping fight has been thrown back, because there is obviously no interest in explanations."
The Austrian's suspension stems from two positive doping controls for EPO-CERA at the Tour de France this summer. He admitted using the drug and hoped for a reduced sentence. The ban is effective as of July 3, 2008.
Kohl said that he explained how he obtained the doping product, "and I am surely not the only one, who has got CERA in this way." This explanation "could be very worthwhile and helpful," but that wasn't acknowledged, he said.
He believes the agency made the decision too fast after the hearing – within a half an hour, but the anti-doping agency had previously reviewed the case details.
"He didn't name us any names, who helped him, so the punishment was clear," said Gernot Schaar, head of the anti-doping legal committee, to APA. He plans to send a copy of the hearing's transcript to public prosecutors. "Kohl gave information, which could lead to names being found out, with the appropriate research." (SW)