A former professional cyclist, who raced in the WorldTour for IAM Cycling, has confessed to doping during his career.
Pirmin Lang rode for eight years in the professional peloton, and the 35-year-old finished second in the Swiss national road championships in 2016.
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“I cheated throughout my professional career as a cyclist,” Lang wrote in a statement. “I was part of the ‘Aderlass’ network. I lied and I am responsible for my actions. I regret it.”
Lang is now a sports director for the Swiss Racing Academy, a Continental team who support young Swiss riders on the UCI Europe Tour, but says he is now resigning from cycling following his confession.
The full statement read: “My name is Pirmin Lang, I am 35 years old. And I resign from professional cycling today. I’ve started racing bikes 20 years ago, I’ve been a professional cyclist from 2013 to 2017 and I am nowadays a sports director.
“A couple of years ago I’ve initiated a structure to develop young cycling talents in my country. I saw it as a chance to share my passion, my knowledge, my experience. A chance to give back.
“To implement the vision of a new cycling, supporting youngsters to become great riders and even better human beings.
“But more than anything else, I wanted a team because I wanted to protect them. Protect them from the wrongdoings I could witness and experience during my professional career.
“The negative pressure, the bad influences, the performance at all price. The cheating. To protect them from the mistakes I did. The mistakes that I cannot keep as a personal secret anymore.The ones I cannot hide to my team-mates who trusted me anymore. The ones I lied about to the partners who supported me.
“The ones I kept secret from my wife and family. The mistakes that I am revealing today. I’ve cheated throughout my career professional career as a cyclist. I was part of the ‘Aderlass’ network. I lied and I am responsible for my actions. I regret it.”
In October, Bahrain-Merida fired a rider and a sports director after they were banned by the UCI for their links with the Operation Aderlass blood doping scandal.
Slovenian rider Kristijan Koren and his compatriot Borut Božič, a former pro turned sports director, were both suspended by the team earlier this year after the UCI published names of riders believed to be involved in the Austrian and German doping ring.