Sinkewitz gets a one-year ban

Sanction reduced for cooperating with authorities

Disgraced German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz was on Friday handed a one-year ban by the disciplinary committee of the German Cycling Federation (BDR).

The 27-year-old was sacked by T-Mobile during this month's Tour de France in July after he was found to have had an abnormally high level of testosterone in his blood during a pre-race test on June 8. Sinkewitz then confessed earlier this month in German magazine Der Spiegel to having used banned-blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) since 2003. And he also gave five hours of evidence to the BDR's disciplinary committee in a bid to get his expected two-year ban reduced.

The tactic appears to have worked, although he was also ordered to pay 40,000 euros (58,500 dollars), which will go towards funding drugs tests, by the BDR's disciplinary committee.

The year-long ban officially starts on Friday, but takes into account Sinkewitz's sacking from T-Mobile so he will be allowed to race again on July 17, 2008.

Sinkewitz was last week informed by the Bonn public prosecutor's office that he would not face criminal charges after his shock doping confession. The Bonn resident agreed to pay an undisclosed five-figure sum to charity, but will face no further legal action.

"Sinkewitz has already been sufficiently punished by the loss of his job and other sources of income," chief state prosecutor Friedrich Apostel told German agency SID.

"In addition, he has cooperated with the investigation and has given valuable statements about doping practices in professional cycling."

© AFP 2007

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