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CYCLING

Schumacher sues over Tour de France doping charges

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, who failed two drugs tests at the Tour de France, confirmed here Thursday he was suing the French anti-doping authorities (AFLD) for defamation.

Schumacher sues over Tour de France doping charges
Photo: DPA

A statement issued by Schumacher’s lawyer Michael Lehner said: “These tests were undertaken… with a number of possibilities of blood contamination, of mixing up samples and other circumstances which could have distorted the result.”

The 27-year-old Schumacher is one of four riders to have failed drugs tests at this year’s Tour de France.

According to the AFLD the German rider, who won both time trials, tested positive for the new generation of EPO blood booster Cera on July 3, two days before the start of the Tour, and on July 15, a rest day at Pau.

In October the German Cycling federation (BDR) said Schumacher, who was riding for the Gerolsteiner team at the Tour, was facing a two-year ban and a fine.

The cyclist himself has denied all knowledge of doping.

Lehner described the suspension as “arbitrary,” and said his client had applied to the (BDR) for a professional rider’s licence for the 2009 season.

“Stefan Schumacher is currently preparing for the next season and has already been training in Cyprus,” the lawyer added.

CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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