Doctors fired from clinic
Following the confession by colleague Andreas Schmid, Doctor Lothar Heinrich has admitted his involvement in doping riders of the former Telekom squad. The German had been working as a sports doctor in the team's current incarnation, T-Mobile, up until May 3, when he was suspended from service by T-Mobile Team Manager Bob Stapleton following the revelations made in former Telekom soigneur Jef d'Hont's book.
"I took part in doping of riders in the course of my work as a sports doctor," Lothar said yesterday afternoon, according to AP.
Heinrich's confession contrasts with an earlier public letter of innocence. "The charges are not for me to be understood and do not have any basis," Heinrich said less than two weeks ago regarding d'Hont's claims. "As a doctor, it is my duty to maintain the health of my patients and to handle illnesses. ... For me to inject EPO or to provide it to masseurs to pass on, therefore does not come into question for me."
Heinrich and Schmid were alleged by d'Hont to having provided illegal doping products to Team Telekom members during the 1996 Tour de France. Both doctors will likely face an inquiry by the Germany's local prosecutor and, following an investigation, have been fired by the Freiburg University Clinic.