Klier admits usage of doping products during his pro career, loses results from 2005 onwards
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Klier admits usage of doping products during his pro career, loses results from 2005 onwards

by Shane Stokes at 1:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Six month suspension for Garmin-Sharp director, can return in February

Andreas KlierFormer German pro and current Garmin-Sharp director Andreas Klier has admitted using performance enhancing substances during part of his seventeen year career, with his confession coinciding with the announcement of a six month suspension by USADA.

The Agency has said that Klier provided what it terms ‘important information’ into its ongoing investigation of cycling. It stated that between the period 1999 and 2006, that the rider admitted using substances such as erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone and cortisone, plus taking advantage of the use of blood transfusions.

“I have been involved in professional cycling for 17 years, and for those 17 years cycling has been my life. Some of my best memories and moments happened on my bike, and some of my worst too,” said Klier in a statement issued by Garmin-Sharp.

“Along the road to the top of the sport, many years ago, I chose the wrong path, and I have been very sorry for it ever since.”

He apologised to his family, fans, sponsors and his peers, plus riders who competed clean during that period.

Klier turned professional with Team Nürnberger in 1996 and subsequently raced with TVM (1999-2000), Team Telekom (2001 – 2008), Cervélo Test Team (2009 – 2010) and Garmin-Cervélo/Garmin-Sharp in 2011 and 2012, plus early 2013.

During the early part of his career, Klier was team-mate of riders such as Jan Ullrich and the American Kevin Livingston.

His results include victory in the 2002 GP Jef Scherens and the 2003 Gent Wevelgem, plus a stage win in the Vuelta a España in 2007. He also took a string of top ten placings in major races including the Tour of Flanders and the UCI world road race championships.

Klier insisted today that the latter part of his career was done clean. “I stopped what I was doing and started competing clean well before I ever joined Slipstream, but I am proud today to be a part of an organization that makes racing clean its only priority,” he stated. “In my heart and my mind I know that telling the truth about my past to the proper authorities is the right thing to do to continue to help the sport I love move forward. I accept responsibility for the mistakes I made in my past and the punishment that comes along with them.

“I have seen both worlds of the sport and I believe that today it is in the best place its ever been. The young riders racing now have never faced the same choices I did, and I will do everything I can for the rest of my life to help continue to help build the sport that I love.”

Contacted by VeloNation, USADA said that it was unable to comment on what information Klier shared, and if it related to investigations already completed or current enquiries. However it said that its investigation into the sport was ongoing.

In its statement, it said that Klier had accepted a suspension of six months and also the loss of results from his career.

“We are thankful for the assistance in this case provided by our international partners at the German National Anti-Doping Agency and appreciate Mr. Klier’s willingness to provide full and truthful testimony about the culture of drug use in cycling,” stated USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart in the announcement of the confession.

“We know that there are still many others in the sport, like Mr. Klier, who have important information to share about how the dangerous use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods took over the sport and was allowed to flourish. Our investigation into the sport of cycling is ongoing, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all athletes who want to have the full truth revealed so that the sport can finally move forward toward a truly clean future.”

It stated that Klier’s six months suspension began three days ago on August 12th. The statute of limitations prevents the stripping of results further back than eight years [note: this statute was waived in the case of Lance Armstrong as per USADA’s rules, as he had lied under oath], but he has lost out on his results on and subsequent to July 21st 2005.

That means his Vuelta a España stage win will no longer stand, as well as fifth overall in the 2009 Gent-Wevelgem and 2009 Tour of Qatar.

His Garmin-Sharp team said that it welcomed his choice to speak out. “We understood cycling’s history and we wanted to create a different environment for riders where they did not have to make the difficult choices of the past. We support Andreas for telling the truth about his past, a past that pre-dates Slipstream Sports by years, and accepting the consequences that come along with it.

“Nothing can erase what happened in cycling’s history, but we can learn from it. We can look at the crop of young athletes coming up not just on our team but on other teams and have confidence that the future of the sport is here. Cycling has never been cleaner and we will work, every day, to help it continue to progress.”

Klier’s admission follows that of others involved in Garmin-Sharp. Last year Christian Vande Velde, Tom Danielson and Dave Zabriskie were given six month suspensions when they admitted doping earlier in their career and also gave evidence used in the US Postal Service/Discovery Channel investigation.

Garmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters also spoke about his own use of banned products during his career. He has said on numerous occasions that it is important for people to speak truthfully about the past, and that a form of Truth and Reconciliation commission is needed.

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