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Jaksche asks to have suspension reduced

Wants to race in the 2008 Tour

By Susan Westemeyer

Jörg Jaksche has asked the Austrian cycling federation to reduce his doping-related suspension from 12 months to ten, it was reported Sunday.

The federation announced his suspension in September after finding him guilty of using EPO, growth hormones and blood doping. The violations usually carry a two-year ban, but he was given a reduced sentence because he cooperated with the investigators.

The suspension is due to expire on July 2,2008. He has now asked the federation to end it two months early, on May 2. According to the dpa Jaksche said, "I am continuing to train, and have had good discussions with a ProTour team as well. I want to come back."

He may be hoping for another chance with Team T-Mobile, for which he rode in 1998-2000 when it was Team Telekom. The team has been rocked by doping scandals, but continues to emphasize the effectiveness of the anti-doping program put into effect by the the team's new management which took over this season. "Further statements and accusations won't bring us any further," Jaksche said. "We know now, how it was. Now we have to look forward and see to it that an anti-doping program like T-Mobile has takes effect. That way cycling will have another chance."

The 31-year-old German who lives in Austria believes that he will be able to ride competitively when he is clean, mainly because he thinks the other riders will also not be using doping products or procedures. "More and more riders understand what this is about and what is at risk."

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.