Bernhard Kohl

Austria?s Bernhard Kohl has been banned from racing for two years by the Austrian National Anti-doping Agency.

The former Gerolsteiner rider, who won the climber?s jersey and finished third overall in this year?s Tour de France, had hoped for a reduced ban after promising to give information about how he obtained the banned third-generation blood-booster CERA. However after a two and a half hour hearing in Vienna, the Austrians showed no pity and hit him with a full 24-month ban.

"He was asked where he got the substance and who helped him but would not give any answers," Andreas Schwab, the chairman of the Austrian NADA told the Reuters news agency.

Kohl had signed a contract with the Silence-Lotto team for 2009 but following his ban he will have to wait until the summer of 2010 before making a return.

Kohl?s Gerolsteiner team mate Stefan Schumacher also tested positive for CERA during the Tour de France but is fighting his case.


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