Schumacher escapes criminal prosecution
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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Schumacher escapes criminal prosecution

by Shane Stokes at 10:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
German Team Miche rider performing solidly thus far in 2011

Stefan SchumacherOver two years after being named as using EPO-Cera in the 2008 Tour de France, German rider Stefan Schumacher has learned that he will not face criminal prosecution for his doping offence.

The prosecutor involved with the case had asked that the 29 year old former Gerolsteiner rider be punished for damaging the image of his team. However according to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper, this request has been turned down by the court in Stuttgart.

Schumacher and his-then team-mate Bernhard Kohl went to the 2008 Tour as part of a team that was desperately searching for a new sponsor. Branded repeatedly by its general manager Hans Michael Holczer as being a clean squad, its reputation was first boosted and then slammed by the successes of Schumacher, who won the two time trials, and King of the Mountains and third-overall finisher Kohl.

Any hope of finding a new backer was severely hampered when the two riders were busted. The team consequently collapsed and the riders and staff were forced to try to find employment elsewhere.

After his Tour success, Schumacher went to the Beijing Olympics. He failed to ride with the same strength there, but nevertheless tested positive again for CERA. The product has a very long half life in the body, making it a effective long-term booster but also one which is detectable for quite some time.

Schumacher served a two year ban and returned to competition last year. He has shown solid form in 2011, netting sixth on two stages of the recent Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria. He insists that he is clean now.

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