USADA suspends Andreas Klier for six months

Garmin-Sharp directeur sportif confesses to blood doping, EPO and HGH use

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has announced today that Andreas Klier has accepted a six-month suspension and loss of results for his use of prohibited substances during portions of his cycling career. His results were nullfied from July 21, 2005, stripping him of just one victory - a stage of the 2007 Vuelta a Espana.

The 37-year-old German retired in April, and is currently a directeur sportif with Garmin-Sharp after a 17-year professional career.

According to a statement from USADA, Klier "admitted using prohibited substances including erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone and cortisone, as well as the use of the prohibited method of blood transfusion, from 1999-2006."

The WADA code puts a statute of limitations on doping of eight years, and although the USADA skirted that restriction in the case of Lance Armstrong, Klier retained his 2003 Gent-Wevelgem victory and his second place in the 2005 Tour of Flanders.

Klier stated in a Sliptream press release: "Along the road to the top of the sport, many years ago, I chose the wrong path, and I have been very sorry for it ever since. To everyone both in and out of cycling including my family, the fans, the sponsors, the sport I love, my peers, – especially those who made the right choices - I am deeply sorry.

"I stopped what I was doing and started competing clean well before I ever joined Slipstream, but I am proud today to be a part of an organization that makes racing clean its only priority. In my heart and my mind I know that telling the truth about my past to the proper authorities is the right thing to do to continue to help the sport I love move forward. I accept responsibility for the mistakes I made in my past and the punishment that comes along with them.

"I have seen both worlds of the sport and I believe that today it is in the best place its ever been. The young riders racing now have never faced the same choices I did, and I will do everything I can for the rest of my life to help continue to help build the sport that I love."

USADA thanked Klier for making a confession and called on others riders to do the same, saying the USADA investigation into cycling is ongoing.

“We are thankful for the assistance in this case provided by our international partners at the German National Anti-Doping Agency and appreciate Mr. Klier’s willingness to provide full and truthful testimony about the culture of drug use in cycling,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said.

“We know that there are still many others in the sport, like Mr. Klier, who have important information to share about how the dangerous use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods took over the sport and was allowed to flourish. Our investigation into the sport of cycling is ongoing, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all athletes who want to have the full truth revealed so that the sport can finally move forward toward a truly clean future.”

Klier's ban began on August 12 and he also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to July 21, 2005, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

Slipstream stood behind Klier in his confession, stating, "We support Andreas for telling the truth about his past, a past that pre-dates Slipstream Sports by years, and accepting the consequences that come along with it.

"Nothing can erase what happened in cycling’s history, but we can learn from it. We can look at the crop of young athletes coming up not just on our team but on other teams and have confidence that the future of the sport is here. Cycling has never been cleaner and we will work, every day, to help it continue to progress. "

Garmin-Sharp confirmed Klier will continue in his directeur sportif role after his suspension is up in February.

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