Kohl admits doping from 2005 onwards

Austria's Bernhard Kohl: Confesses doping since 2005 and names others

Austria's Bernhard Kohl: Confesses doping since 2005 and names others (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Bernhard Kohl, winner of the mountains classification and third overall at the Tour de France, told investigators the names of all the people who helped him dope. The Austrian included the name of the person who provided him the blood booster CERA-EPO for which he tested positive for at the Tour de France, he said at a press conference Tuesday evening in Vienna, Austria.

The press conference followed the arrest of his former advisor and manager Stefan Matschiner on doping-related charges Monday evening.

Kohl, 27, explained that he told investigators the names of other athletes who he knew were involved. None of the names was made public.

He also confirmed that he visited Humanplasma, a Viennese blood clinic, to blood dope. Blood doping was not illegal in Austria before August 2008. After the Winter Olympics in 2006, and questions about Austrian athletes blood doping, the plans changed.

The blood transfusions took place at Matschiner's house. "As far as I know, Matschiner was instructed by a doctor as to how to use the equipment," Kohl said. "He handled it professionally and carried out the transfusions himself."

Matschiner "took things over, bought the equipment and was in charge of the blood doping," according to Kohl's attorney, Manfred Ainedter. Kohl and other athletes helped to pay for the equipment, "but Mr. Matschiner carried it all out. He treated Bernhard and, of course, others."

Kohl said that in addition to the blood doping, he had received blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO), growth hormones, testosterone and insulin from Matschiner. He added that his first contact to Matschiner had been in 2005, the year he turned professional, and "he supplied me from then on to the end."

He contradicted his earlier statements that he had did not start doping until the 2008 Dauphine Libéré. In October, he said that he first used EPO after a crash in the French stage race.

Kohl is serving a two-year suspension for his positive control from the Tour de France. (SW)

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