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Austrian triathlete Huetthaler admits to doping

March 27, 2009
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VIENNA—Austrian triathlete Lisa Huetthaler, who was suspended last fall for using an endurance boosting hormone, has admitted to doping in a newspaper interview published Friday.

In October, Huetthaler was banned for two years by Austria's national anti-doping agency for testing positive for EPO. She was also under investigation for allegedly attempting to bribe a laboratory employee last spring to guarantee that her "B" sample didn't return with the same result as her initial positive test.

Huetthaler, 25, told the daily Kurier that her main supplier was Stefan Matschiner, the former manager of disgraced Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl, who admitted to using the blood booster CERA at last year's Tour de France.

Huetthaler said she met Matschiner in May 2007 through Andreas Zoubek, a doctor at a Vienna children's hospital whose name has previously surfaced in other local doping-related news reports.

Huetthaler said she paid Matschiner roughly $20,206 for numerous doses of EPO. She also said Matschiner introduced her to testosterone and that she got growth hormones through Zoubek. She said her ex-boyfriend and trainer, who was not named in the interview, got her into doping.

"I was 18, he was almost 40 ... I was naive," Huetthaler said.

Huetthaler said her main motive for coming clean was so she could feel good about herself again.

"I want to be able to walk down the street again with my head held high," she told Kurier.

Austria increased its efforts to eradicate doping after the 2006 Turin Olympics scandal, when Italian police raided the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team lodgings, seizing a large amount of doping products and equipment.

Earlier this week, former Austrian Nordic skiing coach Walter Mayer was arrested on suspicion of selling doping substances three years after triggering the Olympics scandal.

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