Philip Schulz, a German amateur rider, is claiming that the the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR), the German national federation, is trying to cover up a doping scandal. Schulz is currently serving a two-year doping suspension himself. He said on German television that the BDR "suggested" that a rider who tested positive for an unallowed hormone get a medical certificate saying he had testicular cancer, which causes a build up of that particular hormone. The BDR has denied all charges.
Schulz, 29, said on the German television program ARD Sportschau Sunday evening that a rider, whose name he did not disclose, tested positive in 2007 for the hormone hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), usually associated with pregnancy. When found in men, it usually indicates a tumour, probably cancerous. However, hCG is also used in combination with anabolic steroids as a performance enhancing drug, to increase testosterone levels.
Schulz claimed that the anonymous rider was told by an employee of the BDR to "get a diagnosis of testicular cancer." The rider was able to get the false certificate from a cooperative doctor, Schulz said.
The peer pressure for using banned products is very strong, Schulz said. "If you say no, you have the feeling that you don't belong any more. If you say yes, you run the risk of testing positive."
BDR Performance Sport Director Burckhard Bremer denied the story, calling the charges "laughable." Bremer said the only suggestion from the BDR was to have further examinations to eliminate the possibility of a tumour.
Schulz said that he had filed criminal charges with the Bundeskriminalamt, or German federal police, against unnamed cycling colleagues for violations of the prescription medications laws. He is said to have disclosed how doping materials are used, stored, bought and sold.
Schulz noted that he had made the disclosures in hopes of taking advantage of the "cooperative witness" rule and having his suspension shortened.
Schulz tested positive in May for amphetamines and was suspended until November 2010.(SW)
(Additional editorial assistance from Susan Westemeyer)
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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