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T-Mobile cyclists "probably" doped

Latest update : 2008-03-20

Cyclists in the now defunct Team T-Mobile "probably" took doping products during the period between 2001 and 2005 according to an independent report. The commission claims it is only the beginning.

Cyclists in the now defunct Team T-Mobile "probably" took doping products under the supervision of Freiburg university doctors, according to an independent report published on Thursday.
   
And the 23-page interim report, published by the commissioned inquiry into the doping scandal at Freiburg's University Medical Clinic, has also named two more doctors involved in ths scandal.
   
The report sheds light on the doping practices of Team T-Mobile - who changed their name from Team Telekom in 2004 only for German telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom to withdraw their sponsorship at the end of last year.
   
The independent report - which has taken 10 months - looks into allegations of doping practices at the university between 1993 and 2006.
   
"It is frightening that physicians worked with criminal energy and made lots of money. That is unethical," the clinic's chairman, Matthias Brandis, told German agency SID.
   
Three experts - Hans-Joachim Schaefer (lawyer), Wilhelm Schaenzer (biomechanics) and Ulrich Schwabe (pharmacology) - have produced their findings after nearly a year of work.
   
Former Telekom riders Rolf Aldag, Erik Zabel, Bert Dietz, Joerg Jak, Christian Henn and Patrik Sinkewitz were all questioned by the inquiry.
   
"This is only the beginning," said Schaefer.
   
"There are other details which we want to shed light on.
   
"I have some sympathy for the cyclists. They had to integrate themselves in a team where there were perfect examples of doping going on."
   
The German Cycling Federation (BDR) have already asked for more information and are likely to take action.
   
"Even if there have been no admissions from cyclists during the period between 2001 and 2005, the commission believes it is probable there were doping operations during this time," said the report.
   
"There is not only the evidence of payments received by the doctors from the cyclist team, but also paperwork for fictitious patients."
   
The inquiry was commissioned by the clinic last spring after two Freiburg doctors - Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid - were accused of giving out doping products by a former team employee.
   
The accusations were later supported by former T-Mobile cyclist Sinkewitz.
   
The German is currently serving a one-year ban after testing positive for testoterone last summer and admitted he had received blood transfusions at the Freiburg institute in 2006.
   
The commission has also revealed two other doctors, in addition to Heinrich and Schmid, are also heavily suspected of doping operations and both are no longer employed by the clinic.
   
"Andreas Blum and Stefan Vogt also received payments for doping practices," said the report.

Date created : 2008-03-20

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