Bernhard Kohl has become the fourth rider to test positive for CERA during this year's Tour de France. Kohl, who rides for Team Gerolsteiner, finished third in the general classification and won the mountains classification. The finding comes as a result of blood testing carried out at the Châtenay-Malabry and Lausanne anti-doping laboratories.
Assuming the finding holds up under legal scrutiny, Kohl would lose both his Tour podium and his mountains jersey. Denis Menchov would become the third place finisher in the general classification, while Carlos Sastre would take over the polka-dot jersey of best climber.
Source: Damien Ressiot, l'equipe.fr.
Reached for comment by German news agency SID, Hans-Michael Holczer, DS of Gerolsteiner, said that he would seek damages from both Schumacher and Kohl. The soon-to-be ex-DS of Gerolsteiner also announced an end to his career in cycling. "I am deeply sad... For me, it is time to retire. I surrender before this criminal energy," Holczer concluded.
• Team Gerolsteiner has announced its withdrawal from cycling effective immediately. The team will not take the start at Lombardia this coming Saturday. Said DS Hans-Michael Holczer, "After ten years in cycling, I do not deserve this. It shows our helplessness." — Source: l'equipe.fr.
• Holczer also confirmed that he had spoken with Kohl by phone. "I think that his career is over," said Holczer. He said that the Austrian claimed not to know how he had tested positive. Holczer encouraged him to tell the whole story. In this way, Kohl could "make a big contribution for cycling and for himself." — Source: l'equipe.fr.
• If the positive test is confirmed by the B sample and passes the arbitration process, Kohl's contract for next year with Silence-Lotto will be terminated. Commented Geert Coeman to the Austrian Press Agency, the manager of the team, "we have not yet spoken with Bernhard Kohl. If the tests are confirmed, we will take the necessary measures. His contract with us would be nullified." Added Silence DS Marc Sargeant, we have received a "big shock." "We have devoted extensive energy and time" to signing the Austrian. "I feel betrayed," Sargeant concluded. — Source: l'equipe.fr.
One more Update Thingy.
• Kohl tested positive on both 3 July, before the Tour start, and 15 July, the rest day. Unlike Riccò, Kohl will reportedly not waive right to the testing of the B sample. — Source: radsport-news.com.
• Kohl's personal manager, Stefan Matschiner, is reportedly close friends with Walter Meyer. Meyer was banned in 2006 after a scandal at the winter Olympics involving doping in the Austrian bi-athlon and cross country ski teams. — Source: wvcycling.com.