Katusha suspend Zabel over doping

Erik Zabel has resigned from the Professional Cycling Council following his doping admissions.

Pro-cycling team Katusha has suspended former Tour de France sprint ace Erik Zabel as a coach following his doping admission.

Pro-cycling team Katusha on Tuesday said they had suspended former Tour de France sprint ace Erik Zabel as a coach after he admitted systematic doping.

"Russian team Katusha announces the suspension of the sprinter group coach Erik Zabel after new facts about doping during his cycling career having been revealed in news reports," a statement said on katushateam.com

"These revelations refer to Zabel's career as an active racer from 1996 to 2003 and do not have any connection with team Katusha, whatsoever Katusha Team management has decided to suspend Erik Zabel, who joined the team in 2012.

"As a member of Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible (MPCC), Katusha follows a strong anti-doping policy."

The German rider, a six-time winner of the Tour de France green jersey competition for best sprinter, admitted in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that he doped from 1996 to 2004.

His admission to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung came after he was included in a French parliamentary commission report naming riders who had tested positive for the banned blood booster erythropoetin (EPO) on the 1998 Tour.

Zabel, now 43, in 2007 admitted having taken EPO in 1996 but maintained that he stopped using it after one week.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) governing body on Monday announced that Zabel had resigned from his position with the Professional Cycling Council.

The federation said he had expressed "deep regret for having lied for so long about taking performance enhancing substances" and, although cycling was now cleaner, he was "no longer the right person" to sit on the council.

Source AAP

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