Georg Preidler's team manager on blood doping scandal: 'You have to keep your eyes open'

Preidler and fellow Austrian Stefan Denifl have been implicated in the unfolding investigation

Georg Preidler quit his team after admitting to having his blood extracted (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Cycling must keep its eyes open for doping, says Groupama-FDJ manager Marc Madiot after the case involving one of his riders.

Austrian Georg Preidler sent an e-mail resignation to the team after admitting that he extracted his own blood with the intention of doping.

The Preidler news came a day after former Aqua Blue Sport rider Stefan Denifl , stage winner in the Vuelta a España, reportedly admitted to blood doping in the wake of the 'Operation Aderlass' raids in Austria and Germany.

"The present situation confirms to us once again that we must remain vigilant, involved, that's what we are modestly trying to do within our team," Madiot told newspaper Ouest France.

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"We will continue in this direction, and as Roger Legeay, president of the Movement for a Credible Cycling, says you always have to keep your eyes open. This requires a continuous and ongoing commitment from the teams and authorities in the fight against doping."

Preidler had blood extracted twice in 2018 to be re-infused at a later date.

Groupama-FDJ said it is collaborating with the authorities involved.

"I trust the authorities to carry out this fight, we have already made a lot of progress, but obviously, there is still some work to be done. I sincerely hope that it will be done in the coming years.

The 28-year-old Preidler joined Groupama-FDJ for the 2018 season. Madiot signed him to help cyclists like Thibaut Pinot in the Grand Tours. In 2018, he won a stage in the Tour of Poland and his third national time trial title.

"It's a huge disappointment because I had a lot of confidence in this cyclist. Unfortunately, this trust was betrayed," Madiot said.

"This is part of the hazards of life in a team, of life in general. I hope that he will be able to understand the consequences of his mistake, and will be fully involved in shedding light on this matter."

Preidler told the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung he "couldn't live with this secret any longer" and he handed himself in to police in Graz, Austria. Afterwards, he contacted the team.

>>> Former Aqua Blue Sport rider Stefan Denifl ‘confesses to blood doping in police interview’

"The past few days have been a nightmare. I didn't know if I would get found out. I didn't know whether this doping doctor had concealed everything," Preidler said.

He said his successes were clean and added "it was the biggest mistake of my life."

His former team boss Madiot said: "In his e-mail, Georg informed me of his resignation with immediate effect. I validated that soon after.

"Georg is no longer part of our team as of yesterday (Sunday, March 3).

"I think, I hope, that the justice will now do its job. I am sure that Georg will assist in the best way to resolve this matter. And above all, to understand how we have come to such a situation."

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