Another Tour de France cyclist admits doping

KAROLOS GROHMANN
Last updated 08:51 29/07/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Gems celebrate 25 years of marching Keagan Girdlestone is set to line up in first elite race since horrific injury The Taylor triplets from Kawhia look to medal at IFMA World Junior Muaythai Champs US Navy Seals helping Oracle sailors prepare for America's Cup stress Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - March 31 Students to compete alongside hockey world's best New high performance director Mark Elliott excited by return to Triathlon New Zealand Te Papa to take possession of sporting treasures won by Sir Peter Snell Grant Dalton: Oracle spies know Team New Zealand's 'built a very good racing machine' for the America's Cup Small boats the order of the day as finalists locked in at Maadi Cup

Former sprint cyclist Erik Zabel admitted to years of doping, including EPO, cortisone and blood doping, days after he was named in a French Senate inquiry as a drugs offender.

Until Sunday, Zabel, who was among the finest sprinters in his sport, had previously admitted to only a brief experimental week with the blood booster EPO in 1996.

But in an interview of Monday's edition of Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the German, who topped the points classification of the Tour six times until his retirement in 2008, said he had used banned drugs and illegal methods from 1996 until 2003.

"It was doping for much longer, for many years. I never had a structured doping plan, never had any experts around me and I never saw myself as a super doper," Zabel told the newspaper.

"When you take everything together - EPO, cortisone (a steroid hormone) and even blood doping, then it's quite a lot," he said.

Zabel was named in the French report along with several other riders including the top two in the 1998 Tour de France - Italian Marco Pantani, who died of a drug overdoes in 2004, and German Jan Ullrich.

Ullrich himself ended years of vehement denials in June, admitting he underwent blood doping procedures.

"As a young rider I did not really think about what big a step this was. But it is clear that I knew very well, this is not allowed and no one forced me to take EPO. It was my decision," Zabel, who son Rick is also a professional rider, said.

"I wanted to keep my life, my dream life as a professional. I loved that, this sport, the trips. This selfishness was just stronger."

Cycling's credibility has been pummelled by high-profile doping confessions with Lance Armstrong, the popular face of professional cycling who beat cancer to win the Tour seven times, having his titles stripped after a sophisticated doping program was uncovered in October by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

He later admitted having taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content