Zabel admits to lying in 2007 about extent of his doping, now confirms eight-season period of use
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zabel admits to lying in 2007 about extent of his doping, now confirms eight-season period of use

by Shane Stokes at 1:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
German rider states he used EPO, cortisone and blood doping between 1996 and 2003

Erik ZabelAfter making the questionable declaration in 2007 that he had only used EPO once in his career and then this week being confronted with evidence against that by the retests from the 1998 Tour de France, Erik Zabel has finally admitted to doping for the majority of his career.

The five time green jersey winner in the Tour de France stated six years ago that he only used the product during one period, the opening week of the 1996 Tour de France.

He claimed then that due to the side effects he experienced, that he had stopped and never doped again.

He said then that his motivation for speaking the truth was because his son was a professional and that he didn’t want him to also be faced with such choices.

However retests carried out in 2004 and listed by the French Senate report into doping showed that in 1998, two years after he claimed to have started and then stopped EPO use, that he had two positive tests for EPO.

That news was confirmed on Wednesday; at the time he said that he wasn’t ready to comment, but he has now spoken to sueddeutsche.de and revealed the level of his truth-bending.

He told the German publication that he actually used the substance between 1996 and 2003, as well as other banned products and methods. “EPO, cortisone, then even blood doping: it is still a big deal,” he admitted.

He said that when he started in 1996, it was with EPO. However when detection methods improved for the hormone, he switched to transfusions. “In 2003, I received a re-infusion before the Tour de France,” sueddeutsche.de reports him a saying.

Asked about his lie in 2007, he said that his motivation was to continue working in the sport. “Above all, I wanted to keep my life, my dream life as a professional cyclist.”

Zabel was a pro between 1993 and 2008. In addition to his six Maillot Vert awards, he won twelve stages in the Tour de France, eight in the Vuelta a España, four editions of Milan-Sanremo and three of Paris-Tours.

He also took victories in the UCI World Cup, the Amstel Gold Race and the Hew Cyclassics race.

He is currently sprint coach with the Katusha team.

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