Cycling: Former Tour de France sprint star Erik Zabel admits he doped for many years
BERLIN (REUTERS) - Former sprint cyclist Erik Zabel admitted on Sunday to years of doping, including EPO, cortisone and blood doping, days after he was named in a French Senate inquiry as a drug offender.
Until Sunday, Zabel, who was among the finest sprinters in his sport, had previously admitted to only a brief experimental week with the blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) in 1996.
But in an interview of Monday's edition of Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the German, who topped the points classification of the Tour six times until his retirement in 2008, said he had used banned drugs and illegal methods from 1996 until 2003.
"It was doping for much longer, for many years. I never had a structured doping plan, never had any experts around me and I never saw myself as a super doper," he told the newspaper.