A German court has cleared pro cyclist Stefan Schumacher of defrauding his former Gerolsteiner team boss out of three months wages by denying taking drugs at the 2008 Tour de France.
Although Schumacher eventually served a two-year ban for a positive dope test the court acquitted the rider saying the statements of team manager Hans-Michael Holczer were not sufficient to establish guilt of fraud.
Schumacher said: “I’m happy, I’m at least released from a lot of pressure during the last few months and years so I’m looking forward to another future.
“I’m sorry for all that bullshit they had to go through, the cycling fans, some ugly things happened during the last years and I hope cycling is on a good way and there’s a better future for all of us.”
Schumacher had argued Holczer was fully aware of doping in his team and once said doping was part of his training just like eating a “plate of pasta”.
In total prosecutors had been seeking some 167,000 euros (150,000 euros in wages plus a 17 000-euro fine) in compensation.