Lotz admits EPO use

Dutch rider Marc Lotz has resigned from the Quick.Step-Innergetic team after admitting to the use of EPO. "In the scope of a legal investigation, I have taken EPO with an eye on the Tour," Lotz was quoted by Belga as saying. "The pressure not to let myself and my team down saw to it that I took refuge in EPO. I realise now that my behaviour is unacceptable.

"I don't want to avoid my responsibility and therefore I have resigned from Quick.Step. I hope that in doing so, I don't damage the team." Team boss Patrick Lefevere had no choice but to accept the dismissal, as Quick.Step is bound by the ProTour code of ethics. It means that unless the rules change, Lotz will not be allowed to ride for a ProTour team for another four years. He also risks a two year ban for doping.

Lotz didn't want to say when he had been caught for taking EPO. "I ask that the press leave me and my family alone to work all this out," he said.

31 year old Marc Lotz was in his first year with Quick.Step, with his best result being second in the Brabantse Pijl this year. Prior to that, he rode for Rabobank since 1998, winning the Tour Du Haut Var in 2004.

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