Austrian cyclists Georg Preidler, Stefan Denifl suspended by International Cycling Union over involvement in international doping ring

Paris: Austrian cyclists Georg Preidler and Stefan Denifl have been suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) after getting caught up in the doping ring that was broken in the recent Nordic Skiing world championships.

 Austrian cyclists Georg Preidler, Stefan Denifl suspended by International Cycling Union over involvement in international doping ring

File image of Georg Preidler. Reuters

Preidler, a three-time Austrian national time-trial champion, went to the Austrian police Monday to confess his guilt and was subsequently fired by his French team Groupama-FDJ.

"The UCI has now received further information regarding the admissions made by Mr. Georg Preidler and Mr. Stefan Denifl. After review of all elements in its possession, the UCI has decided to provisionally suspend both riders with immediate effect," a UCI statement said on Tuesday.

Preidler was not among six athletes arrested last week in a probe into an international doping ring but handed himself in to police in Graz after struggling with his conscience.

The triple Austrian time-trial champion said that he had been sought out by the doping ring and had only started doping "recently", insisting that his professional successes had been "clean".

Denifl won a stage on the 2017 Vuelta but is not currently attached to a team and was unmasked on Sunday as prosecutors said he had admitted to two offences.

Raids by Austrian and German police began last week centred on the Austrian resort of Seefeld, where the Nordic skiing world championships were being held.

Five skiers were arrested: two Austrians, Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, Estonians Karel Tammjaerv and Andreas Veerpalu, and Kazakh athlete Alexei Poltoranin.

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Updated Date: Mar 05, 2019 21:42:56 IST