Austria doping probe widens to include cyclist

2019-03-03 20:39
Cycling (File)

Vienna - Austrian prosecutors said on Sunday that a professional cyclist had been charged as part of a doping probe which has already brought the arrests of five skiers.

The cyclist was arrested on Friday and released later the same day after pleading guilty to unspecified charges.

Austrian and German police mounted a series of raids on Wednesday into a doping ring thought to have been based in Erfurt in Germany and led by a 40-year-old sports doctor named as 'Mark S'.

"The investigations into the German sports doctor and his accomplices have now led to suspicions against a professional cyclist from the Tyrol," Hansjoerg Mayr from the Innsbruck prosecutors' office told the ORF TV station.

Austrian media reports named the cyclist as 31-year-old Stefan Denifl, although he has not been officially identified.

Some of the raids earlier this week centred on the Austrian resort of Seefeld, where the Nordic skiing world championships were in progress.

Five skiers were arrested: Two Austrians, Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, Estonians Karel Tammjaerv and Andreas Veerpalu, and Kazakh athlete Alexei Poltoranin.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) later announced all five had been suspended.

Footage posted on social media showed Hauke apparently caught red-handed with a needle in his arm during the police raid with an officer looking on.

The arrests led to the resignation of Austria's Nordic skiing coach Trond Nystad, who said he could "no longer motivate (himself) when such things happen".

Read more on:    cycling  |  skiing


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