Ex-professional cyclist, Danilo Hondo of Germany, and currently the national cycling coach for Switzerland, has admitted to doping during his career. Photo: @bdcmag/Twitter

BERLIN – German former professional cyclist Danilo Hondo admitted to doping in an interview with public broadcaster ARD on Sunday, calling it “the biggest mistake of my life”.

“It was in 2011,” the 45-year-old says on the TV programme, speaking about his connection with the former blood doping network based in the German city of Erfurt. 

“I have to say – and this has been on my mind all night – I had this moment of weakness,” he said. “I made the biggest mistake of my life and agreed to this thing.”

Hondo said he expects his activity as Swiss national coach to end and that he will be suspended. 

“I am aware that there will be no professional future for me in cycling, neither at Swiss Cycling nor in any other form in sport,” said Hondo. 

Hondo was a professional cyclist between 1999 and 2014. 

He was once German champion, in 2002, and rode for Team Telekom until 2003 and Team Gerolsteiner in 2004-05. 

“I’m now being punished for mistakes in my past,” Hondo said.

Hondo is another athlete implicated in a wider scandal around blood transfusions carried out in locations across the world.

At the centre of the scandal is Mark Schmidt, a doctor from the city of Erfurt in eastern Germany, who was one of several people taken into custody earlier this year.

According to the ARD, the doctor had implicated Hondo in comments with the public prosecutor’s office in Munich. 

“I think that he is disclosing all his actions in order to obtain a milder sentence from the public prosecutor’s office,” Hondo said.

AFP