Thomas Frei used micro-doses and water to avoid EPO detection
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thomas Frei used micro-doses and water to avoid EPO detection

by VeloNation Press at 1:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

During a press conference Tuesday in Olten, Switzerland, former BMC Racing rider Thomas Frei confessed that he had been actively doping for the past two years. With his admission, the Swiss rider waived his right to have his B-Sample tested.

"It is true, I have taken EPO. Therefore it doesn't make sense to ask a counter-analysis.  I don't have any hope that there is the possibility of negative," Frei admitted in the press conference, according to Marca.

Most riders that have been caught doping will ask for the analysis of their B-sample, presumably in hopes that a technicality will set them free from their suspension.  Some credit should be given to Frei for admitting his guilt in this manner, but while most will appreciate his move to come clean early, it won't wipe his poor decisions of the past away.

The Swiss rider was immediately fired from BMC Racing following his admission, and acknowledged that he had been doping since the summer of 2008, when he rode for the Astana team.  He said that his "inner circle" of close friends knew what was going on.  "I am not a liar," he said, "that's why I am doing this [admitting guilt]."

Frei says that he was caught by chance, adding that he had taken a micro-doses of EPO the previous day - his first injection in three months.  His way of getting around the controls was as simple as hydration.

"If I would have drank 1 liter of water after the injection, I would now be preparing myself for the Giro," he admitted.

The problem was that the doping control was performed at 6 a.m. the day after his injection, so he hadn't yet taken the time to affect the outcome of the test by drinking enough water.

His confession and willingness to give details about how he stayed under the radar also brings to light one of the reasons riders are sometimes subject to surprise doping controls during off hours.  He didn't elaborate on who knew what was going on, but he seems willing to cooperate with the investigation so more information could be forthcoming.

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