Bernhard Kohl’s manager pleads guilty to doping ring but refuses to name names
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bernhard Kohl’s manager pleads guilty to doping ring but refuses to name names

by Ben Atkins at 8:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Matschiner admits running doping ring but doesn't disclose everything

bernhard kohlStefan Matschiner, the fomer manager of Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl, has pleaded guilty in court in Vienna to facilitating a doping ring, according to Austrian news agency APA. On the first day of the trial Matschiner admitted that between 2005 and 2008 he helped a total of eight athletes in his portfolio to undertake doping.

The Austrian named Kohl, as well as retired Swiss champion Markus Zberg and triathlete Lisa Hütthaler, but refused to divulge the names of the other five. He admitted supplying the athletes with EPO, testosterone and human growth hormone. He denied any knowledge of the centrifuge that was allegedly bought jointly by Kohl, Michael Rasmussen and cross-country skier Christian Hoffmann.

Kohl was infamously stripped of third place in the 2008 Tour de France, and the polka-dot mountains jersey, after subsequently testing positive for CERA, the third generation EPO. He has since quit the sport, claiming that it was “impossible to win without doping”, and opened a bike shop in Austria.

Despite co-operating with anti-doping authorities, the Austrian Anti-Doping Agency increased his statutory two-year ban to six years for what they saw as persistent doping.

Importantly, while Matschiner admits the facilitation of athletes’ doping, he denies doing so in Austria after the country passed anti-doping legislation in August 2008. He claims that after that time all doping activities were moved to the neighbouring countries of Slovenia and Hungary, where there are no such laws; although an Austrian apartment, paid for by Kohl, Rasmussen and Hoffmann, continued to be leased in Matschiner’s wife’s name until November of that year.

If found guilty of facilitating the doping ring after the law was introduced, Matschiner could be sentenced with three years in jail.


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