Schumacher ban to stand after French court rules on CERA retesting
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Schumacher ban to stand after French court rules on CERA retesting

by Conal Andrews at 2:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping

Stefan Schumacher’s claim that he should be acquitted of charges of using CERA in the 2008 Tour de France was thrown out by the French Conseil d'Etat court today.

The disgraced German rider recently claimed that the clearing of other riders under retesting run by the AFLD meant that he should be allowed to return to racing. He had claimed that the CERA testing – which made its debut in last year’s Tour – was unreliable and that he had been treated unfairly.

The Conseil d'Etat disagreed with that today, saying that it believed that “the methods of analysis on the blood samples were regular” and that it “accepted that [the AFLD] could proceed with retrospective analysis on samples which had already been tested.”

Former Amstel Gold winner Schumacher had stunning form during the 2008 Tour de France, winning the two long time trials in the race. However, like Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval), plus his team-mate Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), he was judged positive for CERA and suspended.

The other riders have admitted doping but 28 year old Schumacher continues to deny he took banned substances during the race. However his claims are regarded with scepticism, due to his subsequent positive test for CERA in the Beijing Olympic Games. Kohl has also intimated that his former room-mate was doping in the race.

Schumacher previously had high hematocrit readings at the 2007 world road race championships in Stuttgart, Germany, although he successfully avoided sanction when he claimed afterwards that these levels were due to illness. He finished third in the elite road race.

Last Autumn, Schumacher resolved to fight both his suspension and the tearing up of his new contract with the Quick Step team. He was originally suspended in France but the UCI converted that to a worldwide ban in March.


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