Austrian Court drops criminal doping case against Bernhard Kohl and Michael Rasmussen
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Austrian Court drops criminal doping case against Bernhard Kohl and Michael Rasmussen

by VeloNation Press at 11:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Could not prove use of centrifuge after 2008 anti-doping law

Michael RasmussenThe court in Vienna has announced on Thursday that the case against Bernhard Kohl, Michael Rasmussen and and cross-country skier Christian Hoffmann for allegedly trafficking doping products has been dropped.

The courts confirmed the trio had invested a total of 93,906.40 euro into a blood centrifuge and related equipment since April 2006.  The athletes used the equipment to treat blood with dynepo, Cera, and other doping products.

Austrian police seized the equipment from Matschiners headquarters in Budapest in April of 2009, and tests showed that the blood centrifuge had preformed 85 treatments in the past two years.  Kohl's former manager Stefan Matschiner rented out the machine to other athletes.

Prosecutors said that they had no proof that the three had rented out the machine to other athletes after the new Austrian anti-doping law came into effect in August 2008.  Only then would their actions have been treated as criminal.

"The use of the centrifuge by third parties took place before the new law  came into effect," spokesman for the court Thomas Vecsey told AFP.

"We don't have any elements to prove prior use. You could say they were
lucky," he added.

Kohl was stripped of his third place and King of the Mountains prize at the 2008 Tour de France following a positive doping test that was done retroactively.  Kohl admitted to using the third generation EPO and cooperated with the investigation.  Rasmussen is currently racing for the small Italian Miche continental team and continues to deny accusations.

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