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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Zabel admits to doping at Telekom
Erik Zabel in the Tour de France's green points leader's jersey in 1997
Zabel won six straight Tour de France points jerseys from 1996
Cycling great Erik Zabel and former team-mate Rolf Aldag have admitted using banned blood booster EPO while competing for Telekom in the mid-1990s.

Their confessions follow those of ex-Telekom men Udo Boelts, Bert Dietz and Christian Henn earlier this week.

"I took EPO in 1996 but I stopped after a week because of secondary effects," said Zabel. "It was my only experience with doping in my whole career."

Zabel topped the points classification in the Tour de France six times.

He was also a silver medallist in the 2006 World Championships.

He and Aldag made their confessions live on German television, with Zabel breaking down in tears.

Before the (Tour de France) in 1995 I began using EPO and continued using it

Rolf Aldag

Aldag is now sporting director of the Telekom team, which has changed its name to T-Mobile.

He admitted taking doping products between 1995 and 2002.

Aldag's team-mates Bjarne Riis and Jan Ulrich won the Tour de France in 1996 and 1997.

"Before the (Tour de France) in 1995 I began using EPO and continued using it," Aldag said.

Two former Telekom doctors have admitted they administered banned substances when working for the team in the 1990s.

"I supported doping individual cycling professionals from the mid-1990s," Dr Andreas Schmid said in a statement released by his attorney.

"I made available to cyclists, upon request, drug substances, especially EPO," said Schmid.

He added he "never gave any sportsman doping materials unknowingly or against their will".

EPO, or erythropoietin, has been proven to boost endurance levels.

Schmid and colleague Lothar Heinrich were both were suspended by T-Mobile recently.

Armstrong rejects latest claims
13 Sep 06 |  Cycling
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28 Jan 06 |  Sport Homepage
EPO explained
28 Jan 06 |  Sport Homepage


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