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Bölts and Schmid admit doping involvement

Ex-pro racer Udo Bölts and physician Dr. Andreas Schmid admitted to involvement in doping Wednesday according to the Radsport-aktiv.

Bölts said he took EPO and growth hormones to increase his output on the bike while riding for Team Telekom (later T-Mobile). He admitted to doping in 1996 in order to make the team's Tour de France squad. Bölts retired in 2003 and is now a director sportif at Gerolsteiner. He has taken part in twelve consecutive Tours de France, from 1992 to 2003. In 1996 and 1997, he was a key domestique for two teammates and winners of the Tour, Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich.

Already suspended from his role as team doctor for T-Mobile, Freiburg sporting doctor Schmid admitted to having been involved in the doping practices of riders on the Telekom team, and its successor, T-Mobile, beginning in the mid-1990's. "I admit to having supported the doping of individual pro racers since the mid-1990's," said Schmid according to the dpa. He is considering terminating his role as a sport physician at the University hospital of Freiburg.

Doctors Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich were both named by former soigneur Jef d'Hont in his book as having provided illegal doping products to Team Telekom members during the 1996 Tour de France. The two are facing an investigation by the Freiburg, Germany, prosecutor's office. Both have already been suspended by Team T-Mobile and are under investigation by the University Clinic Freiburg.

Schmid's admission represents a change tune. He denied charges of being involved in doping last week and had said, "I reject the charges made against me by the Belgian former soigneur. They have no basis in fact. I have never given athletes EPO or growth hormones, provided it to athletes or so-called soigneurs or sent an athlete a plan for the use of doping preparations, nor prepared such a plan."

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.