Former notorious Gerolsteiner teammates Davide Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher could be together again.
Officials from Continental team Kuwait – Cartucho.es confirmed the arrival of Schumacher on Facebook, while La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Rebellin would also likely join the team. Officials could not be reached for additional comment for this report.
“The veteran German joins the Kuwaiti, Spanish project,” a statement read. “The veteran cyclist joins the team to be one of its references … and will be one of the key members for the young team, bringing experience to the lineup.”
The Kuwaiti team debuted in 2015, and confirmed this week four riders that will be part of an expanded program going into next season. Among those for next season include Axel Costa and Andreas Keusser, both from the team’s previous incarnation of Massi – Kuwait, Fernando Grijalba (MMR), and José Manuel Gutiérrez (Rias Baixas).
It’s the imminent arrival of Schumacher and Rebellin that’s attracting attention, however. Both tested positive in high-profile doping cases in 2008 as part of the scandal-plagued Gerolsteiner team. Each have had rather bumpy returns to the peloton, at least compared to some other riders who tested positive for doping and returned to WorldTour-level teams, and neither have been involved in a doping case since.
Schumacher, 35, tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, when he won both individual time trials (the same season Bernard Kohl tested positive for CERA after riding to third in the Tour and won the king of the mountains jersey). Schumacher also tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and challenged both cases in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. After serving a reduced ban, Schumacher returned to the peloton in 2010, riding for Miche (2010-11), Christina Watches (2012-14), CCC – Sprandi (2015), and Christina Jewelry (2016).
Rebellin, at 45 among the oldest riders in the peloton, also tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Beijing Games (he did not race the Tour as part of the Gerolsteiner team that year), where he won silver. The test result was revealed in April 2009, and he was eventually stripped of his medal and served a two-year suspension.
Rebellin returned to racing in 2011, joining CCC in 2013. After the Polish team did not renew his contract, Rebellin has been shopping around for a deal. It appears he’s found one to keep him in the peloton for 2017.