Doping in the World: the five athletes suspended
VIENNA — The five skiers suspected of doping arrested Wednesday in the open World of nordic skiing in Austria in the framework of the dismantling of an international network that has been active for several years have been suspended, announced on Friday that the international ski Federation (FIS).
“The five athletes have been provisionally suspended as of march 1, 2019” for “use or attempted use of a prohibited method,” said the FIS in a statement.
The federation has also made public the identity of the five skiers : it is of two Austrians Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, estonia Karel Tammjärv and Andreas Veerpalu, as well as the Kazakh Alexey Poltoranin.
All were arrested in an extensive crackdown police Wednesday when they took part in the world Championships that take place from the 20th February until Sunday in the austrian Tyrol.
In parallel to searches of Seefeld, the German police has arrested a doctor of the sport who had set up a clandestine laboratory in Erfurt, in the province of Thuringia (central), a source of an “international network of blood doping” has been active for several years, according to investigators.
Nine people in total have been arrested in Germany and Austria.
This scandal has a “negative impact” on the nordic disciplines affected in recent years by several doping cases, has recognized the FIS president, Gian-Franco Kasper, in the press release.
“I hope this operation will send a clear message to other athletes,” he added, insisting on zero tolerance of the federation in the matter.
Caught in the act
The five skiers suspects, who face up to three years in prison, were released after being delivered to a complete confession and detailed, said the public prosecutor in the austrian Innsbruck.
The Austrian Max Hauke had even been caught by the police who had found in his accommodation in Seefeld, a blood transfusion in the arm. A video of this scene probably shot by an officer present at the scene and aired by several media outlets, has aroused strong criticism. The presumed author of the images has been identified, and liable to prosecution.
The crackdown was triggered by the testimony to the justice and in the media of the foundry austrian Johannes Dürr, who had been suspended for doping in the EPO during the olympic games of Sochi in 2014.
“I am guilty of course and I am now in a system that generates, unfortunately, a very large number of authors, because nobody talks about it […] and that one passes it over in silence”, he said in the media.
Target of criticism since Wednesday, the powerful austrian Federation of skiing (ÖSV) has defended itself by saying that before any victim of these practices and the announcement of a forthcoming reorganization of the supervision of the nordic disciplines.