I took drugs like pasta,’ admits Schumacher

BERLIN: German rider Stefan Schumacher, who has served a two-year doping ban, has admitted regularly knocking back a cocktail of performance-enhancing drugs, likening it to eating pasta after training.

Schumacher was caught in October 2008 when a sample taken during that July’s Tour de France was shown to have contained CERA, a variant of the banned blood-booster erythropoeitin (EPO). He also tested positive at the Beijing Olympics.

Drug-taking, he said, was par for the course in his then-team.

“I took EPO, growth hormones and corticoids (steroids),” the former Gerolsteiner rider told Der Speigel in an interview that will be published in full on Sunday.

“I was put into a system. I’m not proud of it but that’s the way it was. Doping became an integral part of the daily routine, like a plate of pasta after training.”

The admission of his doping history was a first for Schumacher, who now races for the Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone, and comes in the wake of the confession by former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong that he cheated his way to the top.

A number of other top cyclists, notably from the Dutch former Rabobank team, to have since admitted regular doping during their careers.