Tour's Austrian wonderboy Kohl tests positive

The Tour de France's third-placed Bernard Kohl has tested positive to the banned drug EPO Cera. The first Austrian cyclist to make the Tour's podium in nearly 50 years, Kohl also wore the spotted best climber's jersey at the arrival in Paris.


Austria's Bernhard Kohl, the best climber at this year's Tour de France and third overall, has tested positive for third-generation drug EPO Cera, the website of sports newspaper L'Equipe reported on Monday.

Kohl is the fourth rider to have been found positive for this drug by France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD), which has since July pioneered a new blood test for CERA and is currently retroactively testing blood samples of riders during the 2008 race.

Italians Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli, plus Germany's Stefan Schumacher were the previous riders to have tested postive for Cera (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).

The 26-year-old Gerolsteiner rider caused a sensation in July when he managed to get on to the overall podium at the Grand Boucle. Until then, his best career performance had been third spot at the 2006 Criterium Dauphine.

Kohl, who was the first Austrian rider to finish on the Tour de France podium for nearly half a century, has been recruited by Belgian team Silence for three years starting in 2009, following the disappearance of the Gerolsteiner outfit.

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