In a development that many observers will have seen coming the AFP news agency is reporting that Bernard Kohl now says he was mis-quoted by the French newspaper L'Equipe and says he will sue.
In an interview published yesterday (Tues) the sports daily quoted the Austrian rider who came third in last year's Tour de France and won the king of the mountains competition as saying that the race's top 10 riders could have been positive and expressing surprise that only three riders were caught, including himself. Kohl was stripped of the KoM title after tests run after the Tour showed he had micro-dosed with CERA, a synthetic variety of EPO.
Whether he was misquoted or not, given the implications of what he said and that fact that Cedric Vasseur, president of the Professional Cyclists Association said that his accusation could not go unanswered students of the laws of libel, defamation and slander will not be surprised by his retraction.
Kohl now says that his original statement ran along the lines of given the difficulty of the Tour de France it was hard to understand it without doping rather than saying everyone doped. From a historical perspective it is difficult to argue with that statement even if currently it is not true.
Although only 27 Bernard Kohl announced his retirement from cycling in May when he was handed a two year suspension – given his recent statements it is unlikely that anyone in the peloton will miss him.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.