The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today that Andreas Klier, of Munich, Germany, a former athlete and current pro-cycling team director for Slipstream Sports (Garmin-Sharp), has accepted a six-month suspension and loss of results for his use of prohibited substances during portions of his cycling career.
Klier, 37, admitted using prohibited substances including erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone and cortisone, as well as the use of the prohibited method of blood transfusion, from 1999-2006. The use of these prohibited substances and methods is prohibited under the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
“We are thankful for the assistance in this case provided by our international partners at the German National Anti-Doping Agency and appreciate Mr. Klier’s willingness to provide full and truthful testimony about the culture of drug use in cycling,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “We know that there are still many others in the sport, like Mr. Klier, who have important information to share about how the dangerous use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods took over the sport and was allowed to flourish. Our investigation into the sport of cycling is ongoing, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all athletes who want to have the full truth revealed so that the sport can finally move forward toward a truly clean future.”
Klier received a six-month period of ineligibility in accordance with the Code, for being forthcoming and providing full and true substantial assistance. His period of ineligibility began on August 12, 2013, and Klier has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to July 21, 2005, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
Slipstream Sports and Klier issued a joint statement about the suspension.
“I have been involved in professional cycling for 17 years, and for those 17 years cycling has been my life.” Klier said in his statement. “Some of my best memories and moments happened on my bike, and some of my worst too. Along the road to the top of the sport, many years ago, I chose the wrong path, and I have been very sorry for it ever since. To everyone both in and out of cycling including my family, the fans, the sponsors, the sport I love, my peers, – especially those who made the right choices – I am deeply sorry.”
“I stopped what I was doing and started competing clean well before I ever joined Slipstream, but I am proud today to be a part of an organization that makes racing clean its only priority. In my heart and my mind I know that telling the truth about my past to the proper authorities is the right thing to do to continue to help the sport I love move forward. I accept responsibility for the mistakes I made in my past and the punishment that comes along with them.”
“I have seen both worlds of the sport and I believe that today it is in the best place its ever been. The young riders racing now have never faced the same choices I did, and I will do everything I can for the rest of my life to help continue to help build the sport that I love.”
Slipstream Sports, his current employer, also commented on the suspension without really being clear whether he will continue as a sports director for the Garmin-Sharp team.
“Slipstream Sports was created because we wanted to build a team where cyclists could compete 100% clean. We understood cycling’s history and we wanted to create a different environment for riders where they did not have to make the difficult choices of the past. We support Andreas for telling the truth about his past, a past that pre-dates Slipstream Sports by years, and accepting the consequences that come along with it.”
“Nothing can erase what happened in cycling’s history, but we can learn from it. We can look at the crop of young athletes coming up not just on our team but on other teams and have confidence that the future of the sport is here. Cycling has never been cleaner and we will work, every day, to help it continue to progress. “