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Sinkewitz update

By Susan Westemeyer

"I advise all the athletes who I represent to confess, if they have something to confess to. And I advised Patrik [Sinkewitz] that way, too," attorney Michael Lehner told the German press agency dpa. "I don't know if he has anything to say or not."

Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone. The A-sample results were announced while he was still in the hospital recovering from severe injuries suffered in a crash following the eighth stage of the Tour de France.

Team T-Mobile Sport Director Rolf Aldag visited the suspended rider in the hospital the end of the week, and said that his operation had been a success. "Patrik had surgery on his nose," he said on the team's website, "And his jaw was stablized with an elastic bandage." Sinkewitz has since been released from the hospital. His B-sample is not expected to be opened before July 24.

Lehner, who has also represented Danilo Hondo, Matthias Kessler, and Jörg Jaksche, said that he had not yet met with his newest client, but would do so in the coming week.

The doping test was made at a T-Mobile training camp in the Pyrenees the beginning of June. According to the German television sender ZDF, it was possible that the riders were informed of the "unannounced" control while they were training. In addition, the riders have claimed that the tests were not properly carried out because the room where the sample was taken was open to the public.

Appearing on ZDF's "Sport Studio" Saturday night, Helmut Pabst of the German anti-doping agency denied any irregularities in the testing procedure. "The athletes were held in a large meeting room of the hotel. The urine samples were given in a neighboring toilet in the presence of only the controller."

Lehner said that he had spoken with the other riders tested, who described a chaotic situation in the testing room. Pabst denied that as well, saying "Other than the riders, only the team leader and two soigneurs were there. Strangers would have been told immediately to leave the room." The attorney indicated that if the B-sample is also found to be positive, it would be up to the German federation, the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, to prove that the sample was not manipulated by a third person.

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