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Sports

German Cyclist Tests Positive for EPO Doping

Cycling professional Stefan Schumacher, who last summer won two stages of the Tour de France, has tested positive for a new generation of EPO, his team disclosed Monday.

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher

Schumacher won two stages of the Tour de France last summer

The head of Schumacher's Gerolsteiner team Hans-Michael Holczer said he had been informed by the Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme that a doping probe from last summer's tour had turned up positive for Schumacher.

The A sample of the 27-year-old German, who was to join the Belgian Quick Step team in the new year, returned a positive result for CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator) after a new test.

Holczer said he has immediately suspended Schumacher from the team.

Schumacher won the two time trials during this year's Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey of the overall leader for two days.

"We were cheated. I will use the last cent in my pocket to take legal steps against him. I had no suspicions," he said, adding that Schumacher has already been tested 13 times this year by the sport's controlling body UCI.

The French sports paper L'Equipe reported Monday on its web site that Schumacher only tested positive for CERA after a combination of two tests was conducted on a blood sample.

Saunier Duval rider Leornardo Piepoli also tested positive and will have to attend an Italian Olympic Committee hearing on Friday. His team-mate Riccardo Ricco, who already tested positive during the Tour and has received a two-year ban, is said to have also tested positive again with the new testing methods.

The re-tests for CERA were conducted on riders who returned abnormally high blood readings during the Tour.

Schumacher's team- and room-mate Austrian Berhard Kohl, who finished third in this year's Tour, told Austrian journalists that he did not want to comment on the case.

"I spoke to Stefan on the phone today and he should really be the first one to hear of these matters. I want to say nothing until it is official," he said.

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