Doctors admit doping involvement

Doctors admit doping involvement
By Eurosport

24/05/2007 at 09:10Updated

Two doctors have admitted their involvement with banned substances when working for a top German team during the 1990's.

Dr Andreas Schmid and colleague Lothar Heinrich, who were both suspended by T-Mobile recently, were both working for Team Telekom (now T-Mobile) when they won the Tour de France with Bjarne Riis in 1996 and Jan Ullrich in 1997.

"I supported doping individual cycling professionals from the mid-1990s," Schmid said in a statement.

"I made available to cyclists, upon request, drug substances, especially EPO."

But Schmid also added that he "never gave any sportsman doping materials unknowingly or against their will".

Earlier in the week, former Telekom riders Bert Dietz and Christian Henn admitted to using EPO - the banned blood booster erythropoietin - before a testing for the drug was developed, while a third Telekom rider Udo Boelts also admitted using EPO in 1995 and 1996.

"I took part in doping of cyclists in the course of my work as a sports doctor," Heinrich said before adding that he regretted the decision.

The Operation Puerto doping investigation has been underway for a year but has yet to yield any convictions. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said that so far efforts to rid the sport of doping have failed.

"In 10 years cycling has done more in the fight against doping than all other sports combined, but it hasn't worked," Prudhomme told La Vanguardia newspaper.

"A voluntary desire to change doesn't exist. Cycling doesn't need doping - it's killing the legend. It's killing cycling."