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Stefan Matschiner jailed in doping case

VIENNA -- A criminal court in Austria's capital has sentenced a former manager of retired Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl to 15 months in prison -- 14 of which are conditional -- for blood doping and selling doping products.

Stefan Matschiner, 35, was found guilty Monday of giving EPO, testosterone, insulin and growth hormones to Kohl, his former teammate Markus Zberg, triathlete Lisa Huetthaler and five unnamed others from 2005 to 2008.

Matschiner had acknowledged the charges at the start of his trial in August, but said he had stopped his activities by mid-2008 when selling performance-enhancing drugs became a criminal offense with a prison term of up to five years in Austria.

Kohl, a prosecution witness, contradicted his former manager, saying he was still blood-doping with fellow cyclists Michael Rasmussen and Pietro Caucchioli under Matschiner in September 2008.

Kohl won the polka-dot jersey for best climber at the 2008 Tour de France but later admitted he used the banned blood booster CERA.

Kohl was banned for two years by national anti-doping authorities in November that year and ended his career shortly afterward.

Matschiner was kept in custody for five weeks in early 2009 after he was identified by Kohl and triathlete Huetthaler as their supplier of performance-enhancing drugs.

Prosecutors said several other athletes had also mentioned Matschiner's name in relation to doping suppliers.

Matschiner is a former 1,500-meter runner who founded the sports agency ISA in 2003 to manage track and field athletes and cyclists.

Matschiner also managed Rasmussen when the Danish cyclist was removed by his Rabobank team from the 2007 Tour de France when he was leading and seemed certain to win. The team said Rasmussen lied about his whereabouts when he missed pre-race doping tests.