Austrian agency investigating Hempel

Updated: July 3, 2009, 10:04 AM ET
Associated Press

VIENNA -- The Austrian anti-doping agency has started an investigation into doping allegations against triathlete Hannes Hempel.

The disciplinary committee of NADA announced Friday it is examining whether Hempel gave drugs to former cyclist Bernhard Kohl, who was banned for the illegal blood-booster CERA after last year's Tour de France.

Kohl, who retired in May, said Hempel had given him the drugs. The triathlete initially admitted the charge while being questioned by state prosecutors earlier this year, but later withdrew his confession and has since denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation by NADA does not affect Hempel's right to start in Sunday's Ironman Austria Triathlon.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press