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Veteran German rider Andreas Kloeden retires

BERLIN (AP) — Veteran German cyclist Andreas Kloeden announced his retirement on Thursday after a 16-year professional career that included two runner-up finishes in the Tour de France.

The 38-year-old Kloeden, who finished second in the Tour in 2004 and '06, told the Weser-Kurier newspaper he wants to spend more time with his wife and two daughters. Kloeden was the highest-finishing German in 30th place in his 12th Tour in July, when he raced for RadioShack.

He told the DPA news agency that his failure to find a new team helped push him toward retirement. "First I'm going to take six months off, then we'll see," Kloeden said of his future plans. The German rode alongside Jan Ullrich, Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, winning eight pro stage races including Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Romandie and the Tour of the Basque Country on two occasions. He also claimed a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

Kloeden has faced doping allegations, but told the Weser-Kurier, "I have nothing to confess." He was implicated in an independent commission's 2009 investigation into an alleged doping system at Freiburg University Clinic between 1995 and 2006 for the former Team Telekom, later known as T-Mobile.

Kloeden was suspected of receiving illegal transfusions of his own blood in July 2006, but he vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

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