Schumacher rejects fraud allegations, says he simply wants to focus on continuing his career
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Schumacher rejects fraud allegations, says he simply wants to focus on continuing his career

by Shane Stokes at 10:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Feels Stuttgart Public Prosecutor isn’t entitled to open legal action

Stefan SchumacherDeposed Tour de France stage winner Stefan Schumacher has responded to reports that he is facing fraud charges, rejecting the notion that he deceived anyone and stating that he wants to be allowed to continue his racing career.

“I will comment on this issue further. I can only say this: I have served my sporting punishment, and want to now focus on continuing my career,” he said on his personal website. “I have not committed an offence and I'm definitely not a fraud. What the public prosecutor’s office now wants from me is therefore inexplicable.

The Team Miche rider was responding to reports in recent days that he was set to face charges from the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s office. The Stuttgarter Nachrichten paper reported that he could be liable due to a contractual undertaking by him not to dope. He tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, having shown career-best form during the race. Schumacher won both time trials and wore the yellow jersey.

The agreement in question is one he made with former team manager Hans Michael Holczer, and it could require him to repay the portion of his salary he was given by the team before his positive test was confirmed.

Holczer claimed he was deceived by Schumacher and his team-mate Bernhard Kohl, insisting that he set out to run a clean team. Somewhat naively, he said in the past that there was no need for his team to have an internal testing programme, as he trusted his riders were telling him the truth.

Holczer and Schumacher had previously agreed on a dissolution of the contract from 15 October 2008. CAS ruled on the rider’s case earlier this year, stating that the starting point for his ban should be August 28th of that year.

In January, Holczer said that he felt that he should be able to claim back the money he paid out for that period. “It is about six weeks,” he said. “I will speak with my lawyer as to whether there is a legal basis for the case.”

According to Feltet.dk, the sum concerned is estimated to be approximately 75,000 euro, although more recent valuations are higher than that. Holczer has also stated that Schumacher has not returned equipment, valued at 6,000 euros.

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