Schumacher presents blood values

By Susan Westemeyer

Stefan Schumacher made public the results of his blood tests taken before the World Championships on Monday, with his attorney claiming that they prove that "This is not a case of doping," according to Eurosport. Schumacher, who is the highest ranked German in the ProTour, said that he felt he was the victim of false charges and noted, "It is not comfortable to sit here innocently and have to justify myself."

Schumacher underwent an unannounced out-of-competition doping control shortly before the World Championships in September, and showed questionable blood values. He claimed that they were due to a severe case of diarrhoea. He went on to finish third in the Worlds road race.

At a press conference Monday, he presented documents from the Institute for Biochemistry at the University of Cologne. The blood test from September 25 showed a hematocrit of 50.5 percent. A value of over 50 percent is usually considered an indication of the possible use of the forbidden product EPO and entails a two-week ban on riding for the protection of the rider's health, but the UCI and the German federation allowed him to ride. A urine test made one and a half weeks after the World Championships was negative.

Schumacher's attorney, Michael Lehner, noted that there would have been no reason to suspend Schumacher, since his haemoglobin value was 16.9 percent, and it must be over 17 percent to entail a suspension. He criticized the national anti-doping agency for publicizing the case and violating his client's privacy. "The Schumacher case should have been closed after the NADA [German national anti-doping agency - ed.] took one single look at the blood values. It is irresponsible to make such things public," he said.

To support his claim that the blood values were caused by dehydration caused by the diarrhoea, Schumacher presented studies which supported his claim. He further claimed that the NADA did not follow the UCI's standard procedures when conducting the tests, as they were taken outside the standard times imposed by the UCI.

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