By Susan Westemeyer
Bernhard Kohl is either working on his comeback or not yet making any plans for it, according to contradictory statements by his trainer and his manager.
His trainer, Werner Zanier, told nachrichten.at that the Gerolsteiner rider, who twice tested positive at the Tour de France, was making specific plans to come back for the 2010 Vuelta a España. He was looking at a two-year ban which would run until July 4, 2010, too late for that year's Tour de France. "I really think it is possible, that Bernhard will be among the best riders again after his suspension," Zanier said.
The trainer added that Kohl will stay in training over the winter with mountainbiking, and is planning a training camp for March 2009. "Bernhard will change the minds of everyone who believes that he rode so well in the Tour de France only because of the CERA." The Austrian finished third overall in the race and won the mountain jersey.
However, Kohl's manager Stefan Matschiner takes a different view, telling Cyclingnews there are "no specific plans. No one – not even himself – can make a prediction of how the future is going to look like."
He added, "Basically Bernhard is waiting until the case is closed with whatever kind of penalty comes with it. Personally I think that he won't be able to set his mind until everything is over that relates to his terrible mistake."