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Markus Zberg accused of doping

By:
Hedwig Kröner
Published:
October 09, 2009, 9:28 BST,
Updated:
October 09, 2009, 11:08 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 9, 2009
Former Swiss Champion Markus Zberg (BMC Racing Team)

Former Swiss Champion Markus Zberg (BMC Racing Team)

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Retired pro allegedly bought EPO from Bernhard Kohl's manager

Markus Zberg, a former BMC and Gerolsteiner rider who retired in August this year, has been accused of buying EPO from Bernhard Kohl's manager, Stefan Matschiner. Kohl tested positive for third generation EPO-CERA last year and has since cooperated with Austrian anti-doping authorities, disclosing many details about his own doping practices.

In the final report from the Austrian Federal Criminal Office, Zberg's name is mentioned several times, according to Austrian newspapers. Kohl, as well as Matschiner and his assistant Gernot Winterauer, have reportedly confirmed a transaction of 24,000 units of Dynepo to Zberg in the spring of 2008. Matschiner is also under investigation in the case of the Vienna blood bank "Humanplasma", where a number of athletes from different sports allegedly carried out blood doping.

Zberg has not yet responded to the allegations. The Swiss native retired from the sport in mid-August after breaking his pelvis in a heavy crash at the Tour de l'Ain. Now, the Swiss anti-doping agency is trying to acquire the Austrian investigation report, but because of different anti-doping legislations in the two countries, the process is bound to take some time.

Former Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer, Zberg's team director last year, told the press that he had been in contact with Zberg "through his attorneys" since the beginning of August.

The report also incriminates Michael Rasmussen, Thomas Dekker and Christian Pfannberger, who since 2007 have either been caught cheating or sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI), independent of the Austrian investigations.

Zberg's greatest success in his 13-year career was a silver medal in the 1999 World Championships. He was also Swiss national champion in 2000 and 2008.

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