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Kohl given additional lifetime ban

Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) is now untouchable as king of the mountains leader.

Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) is now untouchable as king of the mountains leader. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Bernhard Kohl has been given a life-long ban by the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency. However the NADA also announced that the ban will be set aside after four years, so that he would be able to ride again after July 6, 2014.

Kohl had originally been given a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO CERA during the 2008 Tour de France. That ban was due to expire next month.

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, the NADA said that it had reviewed transcripts of Kohl's questioning by the police and public prosecutors. It ruled that he had violated anti-doping regulations “through the taking of, use of and possession of forbidden substances and methods in the time from April 2001 until at least September 2008.”

The large number of violations justified an additional life-long ban, the NADA's legal commission.

However, during the investigations, Kohl co-operated with all authorities and gave the names of those who had helped him. Under those circumstances, the NADA can shorten the additional ban, which it has done.

Kohl has announced that he has retired from cycling. He now owns and operates a bike shop in Vienna.