Court stops Kohl's claims against former team doctor

Austrian Bernhard Kohl at the 2008 Tour de France

Austrian Bernhard Kohl at the 2008 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

An Austrian court has dismissed claims made by Bernhard Kohl that former-Gerolsteiner doctor Mark Schmidt was involved in doping practices at the 2008 Tour de France.

Kohl tested positive for the EPO derivative CERA at that Tour, and subsequently admitted to doping. In October 2009 he said that Schmidt “oversaw the doping practices” and allowed the rider to use his hotel room for a blood transfusion.

One of Schmidt's witnesses in the trial was Kohl's ex-manager Stefan Matschiner. The latter swore under oath that the claims he and Schmidt co-ordinated the doping practices at the Tour was unfounded. Matschiner further said that he did not meet Schmidt at the Tour nor that he gave Schmidt a piece of equipment to measure hematocrit.

“I did not know Mr. Matschiner at the Tour de France,” said Schmidt in a press release. “I only got to know him later at the Deutschland Tour.”

The court ruled, “It could not be determined that the plaintiff knew of the defendant's doping practices or helped him by the process of doping or with covering it up.”

Schmidt now serves as team doctor for German ProTour squad Milram.

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