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Newz Forum: OTHER: Ironman winner admits she used EPO: 'I cheated'

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posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 03:15 PM
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Nina Kraft, winner of last month's Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii, acknowledged Thursday that she had used the banned endurance-boosting drug EPO.

Kraft, who tested positive after the Oct. 16 event in Kailua-Kona, said she accepted her guilt and would not request analysis of her backup sample.

"The mistake cannot be rectified; I am going to bear all the consequences," she told the Hesse state radio.

Kraft, the first German woman to win the Hawaii Ironman championship, faces a two-year ban.

She said she took EPO during a three-week period and stopped five days before the Hawaii competition.

"I never really rejoiced over the victory in Hawaii," Kraft said. "I was ashamed the entire time, especially in front of my family. I cheated."

EPO, or erythropoietin, stimulates the production of oxygen-rich red blood cells and is a drug of choice in endurance sports.

The German Triathlon Union said Kraft admitted "making a big mistake."

Kraft's brother, Florian, said his sister's action "cannot be justified but perhaps it can be understood."

"It's a matter of money, a lot of money, and ethics suffer in that case," he said on his Web site. "Nina tried [EPO] for the first time, without expertise or medical supervision."

Confirmation of the positive test came after a report Thursday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

"I did something stupid," she was quoted as telling Kurt Denk, organizer of the Ironman Germany competition.

Kraft allegedly began using EPO in late summer with the agreement of her partner and coach Martin Malleier, the newspaper said.

Another German triathlete, Katja Schumacher, tested positive for testosterone in July and was banned for one year.

Reinhard Wilke, a DTU vice president, called for a full investigation.

"Everything has to come out," he said.

The World Triathlon Corporation, which oversees the Ironman, said it won't distribute prize money from the Big Island race until additional test results are completed.

A German maker of food supplements said it would end its sponsorship deal with Kraft.

Normann Stadler, a German triathlete who has also won the Hawaii Ironman, said Kraft's doping case was "the worst thing that could have happened."

"It's a great pity for our sport," he said.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 08:20 PM
at least Nina is honest to admit her guilt and accept her punishment. have to give her a lot of credit for that

posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 09:45 PM
The use of illegal substances in ALOT of sports in these last few years is sickening and shameful. From the Olympics to steroids in baseball to whatever else we dont even know about, its too bad so many athletes have stooped to these levels. Maybe it's been going on for a long time but now it's just easier to detect, who knows. I know if I ever made it to a level where taking something illegal would benefit my performance, the embarrasment of getting caught would outweigh the reward in performance so much I wouldn't even consider it. I guess I give her credit for fessing up but that doesn't change the fact that she indeed cheated the match, herself, and her sport. People that confess like her look better because so few do step up and confess but she's as guilty as the rest. There are so many sports out there whose integrity is in question right now because of various scandals and allegations, I guess their competitive nature and desire to win overcomes these people's morals and better judgement.

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