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Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Swiss ex-pro admits links to ‘Aderlass’ doping ring

Former Swiss rider Pirmin Lang is the latest rider to confess to having worked with a blood-doping ring in Germany

Former pro rider Pirmin Lang is the latest racer to admit links to the ongoing “Aderlass” doping scandal.

The 35-year-old raced from 2013 to 2017, with stints in IAM Cycling and Roth-Akros. The Swiss ex-pro posted a message on Twitter admitting that he cheated throughout his racing career. Lang did not go into details about what he did or with whom he might have collaborated, other than to confirm he was part of a cheating ring dubbed “Aderlass” by German and Austrian investigators.

“I’ve cheated throughout my professional career as a cyclist,” Lang wrote. “I was part of the ‘Aderlass’ network. I lied and I am responsible for my actions.”

Lang never won a race, but finished second in the 2016 Swiss national championships, and raced the 2014 Vuelta a España. He later worked as a sport director for a development team, but announced he would be leaving that role as well.

It’s not clear what provoked Lang to come forward now, other than he cited he could no longer live with the guilt of hiding his doping activities.

German authorities uncovered a blood doping ring in early 2019 involving Nordic skiers and pro cyclists. At the center of the alleged ring is Mark Schmidt, a German doctor who also worked with the Gerolsteiner and Milram teams more than a decade ago.

Since then, several riders have been linked to the network, including Stefan Denifl and George Preidler. The UCI later handed down provisional bans to Alessandro Petacchi, Kristijan Koren (Bahrain–Merida), Kristijan Đurasek (UAE Team Emirates), and Borut Božič.

In November, the UCI requested that several anti-doping samples collected in 2016 and 2017 be re-tested based on information gathered in the ongoing investigation.