Cycling: "I am clean" insists Kloden

17th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN, July 17, 2007 (AFP) - Top German cyclist Andreas Kloden, amongst the favourites to win this year's Tour de France, told a German cycling magazine on Tuesday that he has never taken any banned drugs.

BERLIN, July 17, 2007 (AFP) - Top German cyclist Andreas Kloden, amongst the favourites to win this year's Tour de France, told a German cycling magazine on Tuesday that he has never taken any banned drugs.

"I swear it: I am clean," the 32-year-old, who races for Team Astana, told cycling magazine Radsport.

Kloden, lying 12th in the Tour ahead of Tuesday's ninth stage, joined Swiss team Astana earlier this year from T-Mobile, where, he insists, he never took any banned substances during his eight years with the German team, formerly known as Telekom.

"I was never offered anything while I was with Telekom," said Kloden, the former team-mate of top names Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag who have all confessed to using banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) while at Telekom in the 1990s.

"What has been revealed in recent weeks brings shame to our sport, but it is necessary so the guilty are weeded out and not everyone is suspected," said the 2004 German champion.

"I hope the number of drug tests is going to increase: if everybody is afraid to take them, nobody will take drugs anymore."

The German said he has been tested 14 times this year in preparation for the Tour and of those six were unexpected.

"The inspectors always found me, even when I stayed with my parents in May," he said.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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