Kohl’s former manager due in court next month on doping charges
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kohl’s former manager due in court next month on doping charges

by Conal Andrews at 4:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Faces a possible three year prison sentence if convicted

Bernhard KohlStefan Matschiner, the Austrian who helped several top riders and athletes dope, will appear in court on August 12th to answer charges relating to the practice. The former business manager of Bernhard Kohl is accused of running a blood doping practice, and supplying sportspeople banned drugs between 2005 and 2008.

Those allegedly benefiting from Matschiner’s assistance include Michael Rasmussen and the Olympic cross-country skiing champion Christian Hoffmann. Kohl, who won the King of the Mountains and took third in the 2008 Tour de France, but was then disqualified for CERA use, has already stated that Matschiner played a big part in facilitating his doping.

Others thought likely to give evidence are the retired triathlete Lisa Hütthaler and the former Gerolsteiner professional Markus Zberg, who De Telegraaf said last year was one of the beneficiaries of a purchase of 24,000 units of EPO-CERA.

An investigative report published last year concluded that Kohl, Rasmussen and Hoffman paid for a blood centrifuge which aided the sportspeople to dope. It also named the Dutchmen Michael Boogerd and Thomas Dekker plus the Italian Pietro Caucchioli as being involved in the doping ring.

It remains to be seen what sanctions Matschiner could face. Austria passed an anti-doping law on August 1st 2008, making doping a criminal offence. Matschiner claims that he got rid of the centrifuge the following day, but an apartment was rented between August and November of that year, with the lease signed in Matschiner’s wife’s name. The rent was paid by Kohl, Rasmussen and Hoffman, and it is presumed that it was used to enable them to dope.

Kohl is the only one of those named to provide details of the doping setup. The others have all denied being involved.

If convicted, a maximum penalty of three years in prison could be served.

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