Kohl explains drug use

Disgraced Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl blamed his use of a banned drug on the pressure to win in...

Disgraced Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl blamed his use of a banned drug on the pressure to win in an interview this weekend. After testing positive for, then admitting the use of the new blood boosting drug Mircera, Kohl blamed his cheating on desperation to get results in an interview with German news magazine Focus.

"I was in good form after the Dauphiné [Libéré], but didn't have any results," he said. "During the time trial of this tour, I was so over-motivated that I crashed on the wet road. I was badly injured and lost a lot of blood." With most contract dealings happening during the Tour de France, Kohl saw his chances at getting signed slipping away. "Gerolsteiner's future was in doubt – the Tour de France was my last chance."

He said it was at this point he acquired and used CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator, the generic term for the drug Mircera), but said that he would wait and disclose those details when he testifies before the Austrian Anti-Doping Agency.

Kohl said he stopped using the long-acting form of EPO by the time the Tour had started, and did not have any more drugs with him in France. Went into the race hoping that the drug had cleared his system. "I hoped that I wouldn't be one of those who got caught."

The Austrian then complained about the press blaming riders for their actions. "Everything is blamed on us. If the [drug] companies would cooperate with the World Anti-Doping Agency from the beginning and put markers in the medication, then nobody would be so stupid as to use such a medication. In some cases it is practically an advertisement for the pharmaceutical companies."

Kohl also apologized to Team Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer, saying, "I am aware of how greatly I disappointed him. I am really very sorry." (SW)

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