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Stefan Schumacher is interviewed by TV before the start.
German expects to return for 2011 season if not sooner
Stefan Schumacher will return to cycling as a “transparent athlete”, in order to restore his credibility and the public's trust in him. The German said that he is sure to be back in the peloton for the 2011 season, and possibly the end of this season.
Schumacher is currently serving a two-year ban after he tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. His ban ends on August 28.
“I am aware that the announcement of my comeback won't only be greeted positively,” he said in an interview with the German news agency sid. “The trust is gone. So I will do even more in the coming months through transparency and openness to win back the lost trust and sympathy.”
In order to accomplish this, he will publish “all training rides, climbs, blood values and other contol results” on his website. “I will also undergo voluntary controls through an independent institution in addition to the required controls and tests.
"Right now, I am intensively preparing for my comeback. My suspension ends on August 28. After that I want to climb back on the bike as quickly as possible.”
Schumacher is currently in contact with several teams, both ProTour and Professional Continental, and says that he has concrete offers. He is concentrating on returning next season with the team “that offers me the best athletic perspective,” but a return at the end of this season is also possible.
He refused to answer the question as to his guilt or innocence of the doping charges. “I won't address that theme any more. So much has been said and written about that over the past two years – whether by me, by others or by the media – that I think that is enough.”
Schumacher did admit however that “the last two years were the hardest of my life. But I think that I have learned a lot in this time. Some mistakes were made in the past – also by me."