Stefan Schumacher Says He Doped

A German professional road racing cyclist who won the bronze medal in the 2007 Road Race World Championship, two stages in the 2006 Giro d’Italia, and two stages in the 2008 Tour de France has admitted regularly knocking back a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs, and compared it to eating pasta after training.

The former Gerolsteiner rider Stefan Schumacher said he used took EPO, growth hormones, and corticoids (steroids) and remarked doping became an integral part of the daily routine, like a plate of pasta after training. Schumacher, who now races for the Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone, was caught in October 2008 when a sample taken during Tour de France contained CERA, a variant of the banned blood-booster erythropoeitin (EPO). First professionally employed with Team Telekom in 2002, Schumacher also tested positive at the Beijing Olympics. He was also implicated in a doping case in 2005 when he tested positive for an amphetamine but was cleared by the German cycling federation of a doping offense.

Schumacher, riding as leader of Gerolsteiner, won both time trials in the 2008 Tour de France beating Swiss favorite Fabian Cancellara, and took the yellow jersey of race leader after the first. He then signed a two-year contract with Quick Step.

On October 6, 2008, the media reported that the German cyclist had tested positive for the controlled substance CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator), a new generation of EPO but Schumacher continues to assert his innocence though Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevre has said Schumacher’s contract would not be honored. In 2008, two of Schumacher’s team mates, Italian Davide Rebellin and Austrian Bernhard Kohl, also failed tests for EPO-CERA.

The cyclist was banned by the UCI for two years on 19 February 2009 but the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) reduced Schumacher’s ban in January 2010, allowing him to ride again per August 2010. His name was raised in connected in April 2009 with a positive test for performance enhancing drugs at the 2008 Summer Olympics and both the “A” and “B” samples tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was disqualified after the positive test, and appealed against the verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, but dropped his appeal in April 2010.

Meanwhile, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and national cycling federation (BDR) have welcomed the admission of Schumacher that he had used banned substances. DOSB general director Michael Vesper and BDR chief Rudolf Scharping said in a joint statement the admission comes too late and Stefan Schumacher could have spared himself and his sport some things if he had told the truth earlier but they added that his admission comes early enough to draw consequences for the fight against doping and it is expected that through his statements, the people behind it will be caught and punished.

The 31-year-old German rider was quoted as saying that he would be prepared to share what he knows with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Cycling Union, and others “if that is wanted.”

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