[QODLink]
Cycling

Zabel admits extensive doping

Retired German cyclist Erik Zabel, winner of 12 Tour stages, admits to using EPO and cortisone over his career.

Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 11:02
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Zabel won 12 Tour de France stages and earned the sprinter's green jersey six times [AFP]

Former sprint cyclist Erik Zabel admitted on Sunday 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.

Confession

"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 overdose 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.

363

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.