Austrian 2008 Tour de France rider Bernie Kohl (trans. Cabbage), 3rd on the podium in Paris and overall winner of the red polka-dot King of the Mountains jersey is the fourth Tour de France rider to test positive for the banned substance Cera*. Stefan Schumacher, Kohl's Gerolsteiner teammate and roommate on Le Tour is one of the others to have tested positive.
Kohl (trans. Cabbage) received a letter containing a 20-page document with the results of two positive 'A' samples (tested: 3rd July and 15th July) on Friday. On Monday he met with Andi Schwab, head of Austria's Anti-Doping Commission, in a Klagenfurt hotel and was suspended from competitions pending the results of his 'B' samples. Said Schwab, "I am not happy. Once again Austria is making negative international headlines."
Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco who injected himself with the blood-booster before the start of Le Tour has been banned for two years. Ricco, who was advised to use Cera by the banned physician Carlo Santuccione won stages 6 and 9 of Le Tour in spectacular fashion. Ricco tested positive on July 17th. The case against teammate Leonardo Piepoli is still pending. Both riders have been shown the door by the Saunier-Duval team.
Bard on the Run, who dopes on bananas and beer, applauds the work of Wada (World Anti-Doping Authority)!
The organization now has the technology and expertise to check blood samples taken as long as eight years ago. In the fight against the cheats the latex gloves are being pulled on. The dopers may run but now there's no hiding place.
The International Olympic Committee has given Wada permission to test 969 blood samples taken at the Beijing Olympics.
*Cera - Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator - from Hofmann-La Roche produces increased levels of red blood cells and therefore gives an obvious advantage to drug cheats in endurance events. Cera was developed to help patients in hospitals and on dialysis.