• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!

Doping in Austria

Page 4 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re:

Lequack said:
https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/20/at-least-21-athletes-suspected-of-blood-doping-german-prosecutor

"The timeframe (of doping) is from the end of 2011 to 2019 in Seefeld," he told a news conference.

"There are three-figure cases of blood being taken out and then being reintroduced worldwide. In Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hawaii."
Just realized they say nothing about spain which seems weird considering denifl's Vuelta stage win in the third week. I mean aren't bloodbags rather "shortterm" doping
 
Feb 15, 2014
56
0
3,680
BullsFan22 said:
Again, no German athletes implicated. Interesting. Also, why say Hawaii? We all know that it's a state in the US. Why instead of Hawaii, don't they say "United States?"
Maybe they consider the US annexation of Hawaii to have been illegal? ;)

I'm pretty sure I saw an article where Gräber mentioned they are not saying if there are German athletes implicated at the moment, which is different from "there are no German athletes implicated".
 
Feb 15, 2014
56
0
3,680
Gigs_98 said:
ppanther92 said:
Gigs_98 said:
Some more information. So far there are 21 suspects (of which we already know 7 If I have counted correctly) from 8 different nations (so far we only know 3) in 5 different Sports of which 3 are Winter sports.
It is also mentioned that doping took place in south korea at the olympics (not exactly surprising) and in Hawaii among other places. Hawaii kinda screams triathlon which would mean cycling is left as the only summer sport.
The winter sports are obviously xc skiing plus probably Biathlon and then we have a wildcard. I don't expect it to be nordic combined as that probably would have come out in Seefeld so...first big alpine skiing doping scandal coming up? If yes just let it not be Hirscher, that would derail pro sports in Austria as a whole.
As if Hirscher (Red Bull) would have to use some shady german doctor... ;)
I assume though that doping isn't as common in alpine skiing as in cycling or xc skiing therefore there probably wouldn't be a super professional program someone like Hirscher could have been included in. That said I don't think Hirscher will be part of this either, it's just that I'm afraid of that scenario
Downhill skiing at the top level requires lots of strength and significant endurance - in addition to the technique and fearless mind, of course - and some athletes seem to be in constant injury rehab, making incredibly impressive comebacks from severe injuries again and again. So I would not assume doping is less common there than in XC skiing.
 
alternator said:
BullsFan22 said:
Again, no German athletes implicated. Interesting. Also, why say Hawaii? We all know that it's a state in the US. Why instead of Hawaii, don't they say "United States?"
Maybe they consider the US annexation of Hawaii to have been illegal? ;)

I'm pretty sure I saw an article where Gräber mentioned they are not saying if there are German athletes implicated at the moment, which is different from "there are no German athletes implicated".
Some confusion about the list of Countries + Hawaii. These appear to be locations (sporting events) where blood infusion and withdrawal afterwards took place. No athletes nationalities are known yet including Germans.
 
alternator said:
BullsFan22 said:
Again, no German athletes implicated. Interesting. Also, why say Hawaii? We all know that it's a state in the US. Why instead of Hawaii, don't they say "United States?"
I'm pretty sure I saw an article where Gräber mentioned they are not saying if there are German athletes implicated at the moment, which is different from "there are no German athletes implicated".
Every year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 the Kona Ironman triathlon world championship was won by a German triathlete.
In 2016, Germans swept the whole podium 1st, 2nd, 3rd ! Plus 5th place and 7th place, so that's five of the top-ten finishers from Germany. Austria, not much results, the same one athlete several times in the top 10th - 33rd.

So in Kona, there may be some speculation about why Germany is so consistently a powerhouse nation in recent years. That might be the Hawaii connection or suspicion, otherwise I have no idea who from Europe they could be looking at. There have been other German winners, but back before the period being investigated, and not these dominant sweeps of so many top results. Among German athletes, it's mostly a handful of guys reappearing near the top of Ironman each year, it's like a statistical 'cluster' but not necessarily suspicious.
 
Apr 20, 2016
458
8
3,295
Has the five nations been identified? (other than Austria & Estonia). I looked at the Honolulu marathon results from the last couple of years (race is in Dec each year) and it's all Kenyans dominating the top spots (no surprises there). I wouldn't think Kenya would be one of the five nations. Kenya has their own doping problem as witnessed by their dozens of doping positives the last several years, involving many of their top elites. But it's primarily for EPO & steroids and no evidence of any blood transfusions at this point.
 
Nomad said:
Has the five nations been identified? (other than Austria & Estonia). I looked at the Honolulu marathon results from the last couple of years (race is in Dec each year) and it's all Kenyans dominating the top spots (no surprises there). I wouldn't think Kenya would be one of the five nations. Kenya has their own doping problem as witnessed by their dozens of doping positives the last several years, involving many of their top elites. But it's primarily for EPO & steroids and no evidence of any blood transfusions at this point.
I think some of the translation and source being mostly in German press means the details are a little blurred/poorly translated fine details.

From what I've read the facts (so far as what the prosecutor has claimed) are:

21 athletes (mostly men, 9 of which are already arrested) involved from 8 European Nations competing between 2011 and 2019 in 3 Winter Sports & 2 Summer Sports in Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, South Korea & Hawaii (USA).

Of the 3x Winter Sports we know of Skiing (Cross Country)
Of the 2x Summer Sports we know this to be Cycling & Marathon.
 
samhocking said:
The prosecutor has since confirmed the annual event in Hawaii is the Honolulu Marathon, not Ironman (within the 21 athletes from 5 nations).
Good find!
Meanwhile as Nomad noted, the last European winner was thirty years ago in 1988, and for someone from Austria / German to be blood-doping, in that particular marathon event, seems almost a matter of vanity
 
Some news: https://www.sportschau.de/doping/German-athlete-participant-with-Erfurt-doping-network-100.html

Another interesting bit: "According to the prosecutor’s five different kind of sports are involved; four have meanwhile been identified: besides speed skating also athletics, cross-country skiing and the branch that is least surprising: "A not inconsiderable part of the athletes were active in cycling", says Chief Public Prosecutor Gräber to the ARD doping editorial team. And: "Cyclists who have taken part in large and long tours are also affected". It's no surprise to insiders who doubted that professional cycling has become substantially cleaner"

Will be interesting if that is just labeled on Denifl/Preidler or if there are other PCT and/or WT Pros involved.
 
Looks like 10th of the 21 athletes is a German speedskater who is refusing to speak, so can't be confirmed.

Interesting that the way the blood is being transported to each event is actually within the athlete themselves. They would infuse a 1 litre before flight, withdraw on arrival, then infuse again before the race, draw off immediately after.
 
Apr 20, 2016
458
8
3,295
Very interesting, but what is the reason to infuse before the flight only to withdrawl upon arriving at the destination and re-infuse later before competition?

I take it that the withdrawal immediately after competition is to get the Hct/Hgb levels back down to within athlete's ABP baseline parameters? (before any testing that might be done post-competition?).

With this unusal strategy, how much could an athlete raise their Hct/Hgb over their baseline values pre-comp? (a significant amount I would image?). Am I correct in understanding that if the blood wasn't withdrawn post-comp, the high blood values over the athlete's baseline parameters would be flagged by the ABP software as either "suspicious" or "likely doping?"

Is this a new blood doping technique formulated by Dr. Schmidt or is there some evidence that this methodology has been around for a while used by other doping doctors? (This is the first I've actually heard of it).
 
Re:

WKA311 said:
Some news: https://www.sportschau.de/doping/German-athlete-participant-with-Erfurt-doping-network-100.html

Another interesting bit: "According to the prosecutor’s five different kind of sports are involved; four have meanwhile been identified: besides speed skating also athletics, cross-country skiing and the branch that is least surprising: "A not inconsiderable part of the athletes were active in cycling", says Chief Public Prosecutor Gräber to the ARD doping editorial team. And: "Cyclists who have taken part in large and long tours are also affected". It's no surprise to insiders who doubted that professional cycling has become substantially cleaner"

Will be interesting if that is just labeled on Denifl/Preidler or if there are other PCT and/or WT Pros involved.

Hopefully we'll get names of more than just cyclists and more names so this case isn't still an on going case 15 years later.
 
Nomad said:
Very interesting, but what is the reason to infuse before the flight only to withdrawl upon arriving at the destination and re-infuse later before competition?
To me it makes sense only as a 'smuggling method' into locations where the doping ring would have a hard time getting equipment set up (Hawaii ? Korea ? among places mentioned) ...and only if at least a few days are to pass before the competition. Otherwise, why transfuse more blood concentrate than is necessary. And the „Pervers und kriminell“ complaint of the doctor interviewed is: that this may very dangerous to raise hematocrit so high. Especially right before a 'long-haul' international plane flight, during which many hours will be spent sitting in plane seats, and increase the risk of thrombosis. How much a risk the air-travel part is really, is hard to gauge. Let's say it's a less-safe smuggling transport method, if that is really why they are doing it. Maybe the athletes also take anticoagulants to reduce the risk of clotting.
With this unusal strategy, how much could an athlete raise their Hct/Hgb over their baseline values pre-comp? (a significant amount I would imagine?).
In the articles, their sources are saying: the athletes would be transfused with 'up to a liter' of their blood concentrate. And since this is a blood-doping operation, suppose that they have deliberately packed the centrifuged RBC's to a very high hematocrit. Let's call a liter four 'units' of most-densely packed concentrate, and each unit can raise hematocrit by 3%... then my guess is a 12% increase in hematocrit is around the upper limit. So 48% hematocrit thereby could become 60%. Kind of insane, but possible, as illustrated by 'Mr. 60 Percent' Bjarne Riis (apparently true), or by other endurance athletes known to have tested at 60+ percent
Is this a new blood doping technique formulated by Dr. Schmidt or is there some evidence that this methodology has been around for a while used by other doping doctors? (This is the first I've actually heard of it).
It seems like whole lot of trouble, given that they are going to need blood-transfusion paraphernalia on site at the competition location anyway. It would be for the situation in which they have no frozen autologous blood on-site, and a week or more is going to pass between athletes' flight arrival and their competition. Something like that. I almost wonder if something was 'lost in translation' between Austrian investigators and the journalists. On the other hand, they say the doping ring experimented with 'haemoglobin powder', meaning one of the few blood-substitute globins which is manufactured in powdered forms. If the "powder" part is true, then it's a somewhat insane use of blood substitutes, which were not approved by health regulators, for safety reasons
 
Re: Re:

valentius borealis said:
Ricco' said:
TourOfSardinia said:
So this works for those who are happy not to podium.
Ideal for leadout men / workhorse doms.
The perfect doping scheme for the "The Most Top-10 Without Wins" contenders.
Since his last podium in the 2017 Vuelta de Murcia, Patrick Konrad has had 39 top ten finishes.
Is dad, one of the organizers of the Vienna City Marathon, called the Austrian skiing federation a total mess when the whole thing blew up. It would surprise me if he was involved.
Someone like Zoidl on the other had is rather shady, the guy suddenly becomes a different rider when he rides for a conti team and doesn't have to worry about the passport.
 
So nearly all the Austrian cyclists who were on the provisional Giro startlist are no longer racing the Giro, I hope that it has nothing to do with the investigation. Zoidl, Pernsteiner, Konrad and Mühlberger all got pulled from the startlist.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS