Christian Pfannberger has been given a life-long ban by the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency, after his second doping violation in March this year. The Austrian, who has consistently denied ever having doped, has indicated he will challenge the ban.
Pfannberger, 30, tested positive for EPO at an out-of-competition control in March. He had previously served a two-year ban from 2004 to 2006 after testing positive for testosterone.
“This is what we expected, since he has been caught twice,” Herbert Kocher, Vice President of the Austrian cycling federation (Österreichischen Radsportverband, ÖRV) told Cyclingnews. “We are a federation that fights against doping with our full force and are therefore satisfied with the results.”
Pfannberger turned pro in 2002 with the German Team Nürnberger Versicherung and rode for Team Volksbank Ideal in 2003. His first violation came in 2004 when he was riding for the Czech team eD System-ZVVZ. When he returned, he rode for the Austrian team Elk Haus-Simplon (2006-2007), Barloworld (2008) and Katusha (2009).
The Austrian was Military world champion in the road race in 1999, and won the Under-23 International Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2001. As a pro, he won both the Austrian national road title (2007, 2008) and the mountain title (2006). He finished 23rd in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
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