VIENNA // Cyclist Christian Pfannberger's positive doping test for Erythropoietin (EPO) has been confirmed by a backup "B" sample, the Austrian antidoping agency NADA confirmed. Pfannberger, a two-time Austrian national champion, pulled out of the Giro d'Italia and was suspended by his Katusha team in May after he had tested positive for the banned drug in an out-of-competition check on March 19.
He was provisionally suspended by cycling's governing body pending analysis of the second sample. Pfannberger, who has denied any wrongdoing, could now face a lifetime ban after being previously suspended for testosterone in 2004. NADA will hear the case within eight weeks. Pfannberger is the third Austrian cyclist embroiled in a doping scandal in the past year. In November, Bernhard Kohl was banned for two years after a doping violation at last year's Tour de France.
He admitted to using the new blood-booster CERA and later retired from the sport. Earlier this year, Christoph Kerschbaum became the first Austrian athlete arrested under the country's new antidoping laws for allegedly selling EPO and other performance-enhancing substances. *AP