Sinkewitz has been "punished enough"

By Susan Westemeyer

Patrik Sinkewitz is glad to know the verdict in his doping case, even if he is surprised at the extent of his punishment: a one-year ban and a 40,000 Euro fine. "The uncertainty is finally over. I think I have been punished enough. I can live with the one-year ban. But the fine is a shock. I would have wished for a lesser punishment there," he said, according to the dpa press agency.

His suspension was made retroactive to the date his positive test was announced, and he will be eligible to start racing again on July 17, 2008. He regretted that this means that he would be unable to ride the Tour de France next year, "but I think I will have further chances to go to the Tour." He has already started training again, in order to help himself get a contract with a new team. "I hope that the past is over now and that I can concentrate on the future."

He indicated, however, that there was a possibility of further appeals in the case. His attorney, Michael Lehner, noted that the WADA conference being held now in Madrid was considering giving cooperative witnesses a reduced sentence of up to 75 percent, which would mean a six-month ban, which in turn would make Sinkewitz eligible to ride the Tour next year. "If there is a legal basis, we will certainly try to use it," Sinkewitz said.

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