Kohl will not appeal doping sentence
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kohl will not appeal doping sentence

by VeloNation Press at 12:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl has decided not launch a legal battle and attempt to reduce the two-year suspension handed down to him by the National Doping Agency (NADA).

The rider was suspended for taking the banned substance CERA, the latest form of the blood booster EPO. His drug use was uncovered when Tour de France organizers made an unprecedented decision to retest samples of key athletes following the release of a test that could identify the presence of the new drug.

Kohl told the Austrian Times, "My attorney found part of the justification of the suspension incomprehensible. Nonetheless, I have decided to forego additional legal steps."

The cyclist was hopeful for a reduced ban if he cooperated with the Anti-Doping authorities. The proceedings were held behind closed doors and there is no indication whether the cyclist named his supplier.

The fallout from the retroactive testing included Kohl, Italians Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli, and German Stefan Schumacher who is the only rider that continues to maintain his innocence.

The Tour de France itself was nearly a victim of their efforts to flush out doping cheats. Shortly after the revelations about CERA use during the Tour, German public broadcaster ARD attempted to boycott the race's television coverage because of the latest scandal. Since that announcement, the president of the European Broadcasting Union, Fritz Pleitgen, stepped in and said ARD must fulfill it's contract to televise the race through 2011.

The Austrian Times reported that after being fired by Silence-Lotto, Kohl did not have the money to train for the rest of his suspension. The former pro will be taking on a new job in the coming weeks after recently completing his an apprenticeship as a chimney-sweep.

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