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Kohl says manager assisted doping

Jean-François Quénet in Kuala Lumpur
April 01, 2009, 0:00 BST,
April 20, 2009, 21:05 BST
First Edition Cycling News for April 1, 2009

Bernhard Kohl said Tuesday night he had used a variety of doping products since 2005, and that they...

Bernhard Kohl said Tuesday night he had used a variety of doping products since 2005, and that they were provided to him by his former manager Stefan Matschiner. In a press conference in Vienna, Austria, the former Gerolsteiner rider said that Matschiner had provided him with EPO, growth hormones, insulin and testosterone, and had helped him with blood doping – all for a total of 50,000 Euro.

Kohl also admitted to having been a customer of Humanplasma, a Vienna blood bank. Investigators recently closed an investigation of Humanplasma, saying that the alleged blood doping took place before the nation's new anti-doping law went into effect August 8, 2008. However, Kohl said that he had been to the clinic three times with Matschiner, with the last of those visits being in September 2008, when it was illegal.

The Viennese clinic has also been linked to a scandal involving Austrian cross country skiers at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. Carabinieri (Italian police) discovered materials for blood transfusions where the athletes were staying in Pragelato, and former Austrian cross-country skiing coach, Walter Mayer, fled in his car.

Kohl was suspended for two years, after testing positive for CERA, a new form of blood booster EPO, at last year's Tour de France.

Matschiner was arrested Monday evening by Austrian authorities. According to his attorney, Matschiner was interrogated for several hours on Tuesday and admitted to having helped Kohl with blood transfusions. However, a search of his house turned up no illegal products. (SW)

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