By Agence France Presse
Austria’s Bernhard Kohl, winner of the mountains competition at this year’s Tour de France and third overall, has been sacked by Silence-Lotto after testing positive for CERA, the new generation of banned blood booster EPO.
Kohl admitted to using CERA on Wednesday, 48 hours after he failed a test for the drug in retroactive controls carried out by France’s national anti-doping agency.
Geert Coeman, general manager of the Belgian team, confirmed Thursday that Kohl’s three-year contract with the team had been canceled.
“We were feeling good but now we’re disappointed. We feel cheated and for us it’s finished,” Coeman told the APA news agency. “Maybe he’ll find another team but it won’t be with us.”
The 26-year-old rider said he took the drug to help him speed up recovery after a heavy fall in June’s Dauphiné Libéré.
He was the fourth rider on this year’s Tour, after Italian duo Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli and Germany’s Stefan Schumacher, to have been caught out by the new tests for CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).