Guilt-stricken Austrian cyclist quits Groupama team

2019-03-04 14:36
Cycling (File)

Paris - Cyclist Georg Preidler, who had gone to the Austrian police to confess to doping, has quit Groupama-FDJ "with immediate effect" the French team said on Monday.

Preidler was not among six athletes arrested last week in a probe into an international doping ring but "couldn't live with this secret any longer," he told the Kronen newspaper, and handed himself in to police in Graz.

Five skiers and another cyclist were held as part of investigation into an alleged doping ring based in Germany and led by a 40-year-old sports doctor named as 'Mark S'.

"The past few days have been a nightmare. I didn't know if I would get found out. I didn't know whether this doping doctor had concealed everything," Preidler said.

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".

"It was the biggest mistake of my life," he added.

Preidler joined Groupama, which is run by Marc Madiot, last year. The team said in their statement that he "had blood drawn twice at the end of 2018."

"Given the seriousness of the facts which are in total opposition to the ethical principles still defended by the team and its sponsors Groupama and FDJ, Marc Madiot accepted his resignation effective immediately," said the team.

The team said they were collaborating "right now" with the authorities.

On Sunday, prosecutors announced that another cyclist - named in Austrian media as Stefan Denifl - had admitted to doping offences.

Some of the raids 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.

Footage later posted on social media showed Hauke apparently caught red-handed with a needle in his arm during the police raid with an officer looking on.

Read more on:    cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.