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Schumacher to face fraud charges

Stefan Schumacher (Miche) is to face charges of fraud from the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s office. The charges relate to the German rider’s positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France, when he rode for the Gerolsteiner team.

It is understood that Schumacher had signed an agreement with his then team manager Hans-Michael Holczer to repay his salary in the event that he tested positive and damaged the image of the Gerolsteiner team. If the public prosecutor finds against him, Schumacher would be forced to pay €150,000, a figure equal to his salary for July, August and September 2008, his final three months with Gerolsteiner. Holczer was already questioned by the prosecutor’s office in August of this year.

“Mr. Schumacher contractually agreed to comply with the doping rules and not to cheat. He denied any manipulation, and Mr. Holczer has appealed. Thus, from our point of view, criminal damage has been caused," Claudia Krauth, a spokeswoman for the public prosecution, told Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

Schumacher’s lawyer Michael Lehner has criticised the proceedings. “This is an athlete who has been punished to the maximum extent in sporting law,” he said. “What does the state want there? I don’t know the motivation behind it.”

When contacted by the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Schumacher said that he was surprised by the matter but was concentrating on cycling.

Schumacher parted ways with the Gerolsteiner team in October 2008 after his positive test at the Tour was announced. In April 2009, it was revealed that he also returned a positive sample for CERA at the Beijing Olympics. Schumacher served a two-year suspension at returned to racing with Miche in August 2010.

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