Kohl admits giving drugs to others

Updated: June 30, 2009, 12:48 PM ET
Associated Press

VIENNA -- Former cyclist Bernhard Kohl, who was banned for using a blood-booster last year, admitted giving drugs to other athletes on Tuesday.

The Austrian said on local television that he gave triathlete Hannes Hempel a drug similar to testosterone in early 2008. He also claimed to have supplied others but refused to name them.

"Good friends obviously give each other a lot of stuff," Kohl said. "The exact information of what I gave to whom is known [by the investigating authorities]. I won't reveal these names in public."

He tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France and retired in May. Kohl said he was given the drug by Hempel, who was excluded from the Ironman Austria Triathlon last week after the accusation.

Hempel initially admitted giving drugs to Kohl while being questioned by state prosecutors this year but later withdrew his confession and has since denied any wrongdoing.

Kohl last rode for Gerolsteiner, the same team Hempel joined in 2001 before switching to triathlon two years later.

Kohl's confession won't lead to a criminal prosecution under Austria's toughened anti-doping laws, which took effect July 2008.

However, Kohl could still face criminal charges and a three-year prison term for his alleged involvement in a blood-doping network of former manager Sefan Matschiner, which is under investigation by Vienna state prosecution.

Kohl finished third in last year's Tour and won the polka-dot jersey worn by the top climber. He was banned for two years by the Austrian anti-doing agency after admitting he used CERA.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press