Stuttgart - German cyclist Stefan Schumacher was Tuesday cleared by a court in Stuttgart of deceiving his ex-employers.
The 32-year-old was banned for two years, later reduced on appeal by several months, after testing positive for banned blood-booster CERA, a derivative of EPO, during the 2008 Tour de France and Beijing Olympics later that same year.
The public prosecutor accused Schumacher of deceiving his then employers Gerolsteiner by doping and hit him with a €16 800 fine.
Gerolsteiner owner Hans_Michael Holczer has always insisted he knew nothing about doping at the team but Schumacher gave an interview to Der Speigel newspaper in March claiming that doping at the team had become as banal as "having a plate of pasta after training".
And the court decided that Holczer must have been aware of the doping culture at the team and hence could not have been deceived.
Although he denied doping at the time he was caught, Schumacher, who returned to cycling when his ban ended in August 2010 and currently rides on the UCI Continental Circuit for Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone, admitted in March that he had used "EPO, growth hormone and corticosteroids" since his mid-20s.