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Georg Preidler resigns from Groupama-FDJ team after admitting to blood doping

Georg Preidler on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Image: Georg Preidler has admitted to blood doping

Three-time Austrian road race champion Georg Preidler has resigned from the Groupama-FDJ team after admitting to blood doping.

Preidler, who has been racing on the WorldTour since 2013, is the second Austrian cyclist drawn into an investigation that ended in a series of anti-doping raids in Seefeld.

The raids were part of a broader operation targeting a Germany-based criminal organisation suspected of having carried out blood doping for years in a variety of sports with the help of a specialist sports doctor.

Nordic skiing was the first sport affected last week, with five athletes from Austria, Kazakhstan and Estonia arrested last week, while Austrian cyclist Stefan Denifl admitted his involvement over the weekend.

"I made a mistake and want to be honest," Preidler said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Krone.

"It was the biggest mistake of my life. All I can say is that I could not live with the knowledge in my mind that I cheated.

"The last days were a nightmare. I could no longer eat or sleep. I could not live longer with this secret. These last five days have been a nightmare, I didn't know if I was going to be discovered. I didn't know if this doctor had confessed everything."

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A statement from the team read: "Groupama-FDJ deeply regrets this and is already collaborating with all bodies. Our ethics have always been a pillar, and we remain determined in its desire to prevent individual slippage.

"The team deplores this case but retains its confidence in the members and will always remain uncompromising in matters of ethics."

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