• Cycling

Zabel 'doping for many years'

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
German Erik Zabel has resigned from the Professional Cycling Council © Getty Images
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Erik Zabel has resigned from his position on the Professional Cycling Council after admitting to doping for "many years".

The German cyclist, who retired in 2008, told the Suddeutsche Zeitung that he had used illegal substances and methods for a seven-year period between 1996 and 2003. Zabel won 12 stages of the Tour de France and eight stages of the Vuelta a España.

The International Cycling Union has confirmed that Zabel contacted president Pat McQuaid on Monday to offer his resignation from the PCC, after admitting to using EPO and the steroid hormone cortisone.

A UCI statement read: "The International Cycling Union has announced that the former sprint cyclist Erik Zabel has resigned from the Professional Cycling Council.

"He contacted the UCI President earlier today to offer his resignation and to further express his 'deep regret for having lied for so long about taking performance enhancing substances'.

"Erik Zabel said that cycling is now in a cleaner era, however he is no longer the right person to be a part of the Professional Cycling Council."

Zabel said: "It was doping for many years. I never had a structured doping plan, never had any experts around me. I never saw myself as a super doper.

"When you take everything together - EPO, cortisone and even blood doping, then it's quite a lot."

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