Kohl will not appeal two-year ban

Bernhard Kohl has accepted his punishment

Bernhard Kohl has accepted his punishment (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Bernhard Kohl has said that he will not appeal his two-year ban from cycling, and once again apologised for his "big mistake."

In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the Austrian said that he had received the written judgment from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA Austria), which confirms his ban from racing until July 3, 2010. Kohl tested positive for the new generation EPO product CERA during the Tour de France, and he later confessed to having used the illegal product.

"My mistake will accompany me all my life, and will always hang around my neck," Kohl wrote. "I know, of course, that I didn't help cycling any with my behaviour, but I am also not responsible for the general situation in cycling."

In accepting the two-year ban, the former Gerolsteiner rider noted that he expected the longer ban although he had hoped for a shorter one.

Kohl pointed out that he had never promised to disclose the name of the person who provided him with the product. "I always said that I would give all details from obtaining the product to using it. That is what I did."

Disclosing the name of his supplier "would neither have uncovered a doping ring nor uncovered the doping of another athlete."

The 27-year-old further noted that with 18 months ahead of him, it was "too early" to speak of a possible comeback, but that he would keep himself fit in order to keep that possibility open. "The fact is that at my age I have my complete working life ahead of me and my financial situation doesn't allow me to simply train for a year and a half." He will seek work for that period, even though at the moment he didn't know in which field it may be.(SW)

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