Stefan Schumacher, suspended by his Shimano-Memory Corp team since June 2005, is waiting for the German cycling federation's court verdict on his case. The former leader of the UCI Europe Tour rankings had tested positive for the performance-enhancing stimulant cathine during the Rheinland-Pfalz-Rundfahrt in May, where he had won three of the five stages as well as the general classification.
On Wednesday, August 3, Schumacher was heard in the sports court, and is now hoping for acquittal after claiming that he took a medicine against his pollen allergy without possibly being able to know that there was a banned substance in it. "Cathine is on the list of banned substances, but on the information leaflet [of this particular medicine], it is listed under a completely different name," he told German website Radsportnews.com, explaining that his mother, who is a doctor, made the prescription. Cathine is also known as norpseudoephedrine, a metabolite of the restricted substance pseudoephedrine.
According to Schumacher, he even asked his team doctor, who in turn allegedly asked the Dutch cycling federation about approval. "I have nothing to hold against myself. I did everything I could, I was even more than cautious before taking the medication." The 23 year-old continues to train, as his lawyer Mathias Lehner (who also represented Danilo Hondo in his doping case, incidentally with the same substance Cathine) as well as himself believe that the charges against him will be dropped. "I still have goals this year. I need to be fit right away when I can race again," Schumacher said.