Kohl implicates team doctor in doping process
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kohl implicates team doctor in doping process

by Steve Jones at 12:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Former professional cyclist Bernard Kohl has uncovered more about his doping escapades in the 2008 Tour de France in part three of an interview with Kurier.at

In the interview he revealed that one of the problems he faced was that his Gerolsteiner team did not bring a device to measure the hematocrit levels for their riders. Management was so confident that there was no doping going on within the team, they didn't feel it was necessary to perform their own tests.

But that didn't stop Kohl from his doping ways, receiving help from manager Stefan Matschiner, who brought his own measuring device so they could monitor and manipulate his erratic hematocrit levels. Kohl also pointed the finger at team doctor Mark Schmidt, who is currently with the German Milram team, naming him as an accomplice in the doping process.

Kohl said he and the doctor confided in one another, adding that the doctor supported his choice, quoting Schmidt as saying, "Logically, we must do it [blood doping]." Kohl also told Kurier, "He [Schmidt] once said that I was not the only one on the team involved in blood doping."

He went on to say that the doctor would measure his hematocrit, and if the level was too high, he would "dilute my blood with saline solution to lower my [hematocrit] value."

Apparently the secret life Kohl was living weighed heavily on the rider, acknowledging that things like having to force himself to act indignant around the team dinner table when Manuel Beltrán's positive test was announced, knowing that "within half an hour I would be doping again", took its toll mentally.

Kohl explained, "You think: madness. This is one of the biggest events in world sport and you sit there manipulating your blood, even though you know it is forbidden. The heart is racing. You think, I hope nothing goes wrong."

This is bad timing for the Milram team as they search for a new sponsor while trying to deflect the doping accusations leveled at their star rider Linus Gerdemann. Schmidt has denied the accusations in a statement through his attorney: "It is sheer falsehood. Mark Schmidt has never delivered or given doping products to anyone."

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