What we know about the bloeddopingzaak ‘Operation Aderlass’

The sports world was at the end of February startled by a large-scale operation of the Austrian police during the world cup nordic tracks (cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined in Seefeld. What do we know about ‘Operation Aderlass’, according to the police an investigation into a dopingnetwerk all over the world operates?
What is Operation Aderlass?

Aderlass is the German word for blood draining, and that is not for nothing. The dopingzaak runs to get a large number of athletes who between 2011 and February of this year blood transfusions would have undergone in the forty years of German sports physician Mark S., who, from the German city of Erfurt operates.

On Wednesday 27 February, the Austrian and German police to at sixteen different places in Seefeld and Erfurt raids to do. Were nine people arrested and about forty bloedzakken found.

“A criminal organization that operates from Erfurt is strongly suspected that they are professional athletes for many years, doping has provided for their performance in domestic and foreign competitions to improve”, wrote the police in a statement. “We’ve managed to make this international dopingnetwerk to roll.”

What is blood doping?

Blood doping is all decades use the performance – especially endurance athletes to improve. The principle is fairly simple: there is the blood of an athlete declined and that for a few weeks stored. Just before or during a match is that blood or just red blood cells) administered.

The idea is that the number of red blood cells in the body increases, which makes the body more oxygen it can transport to the muscles. This is especially for endurance athletes is of great importance. The manipulation of blood is within and outside of competitions to prohibited by the antidopinginstanties.

The house of the defendant doctor in Erfurt. ()

Who is ‘dopingarts’ Mark S.?

S. is the doctor behind the dopingnetwerk. The German, a well-known name in the (German) world of sport was in the raids on 27 February in Erfurt arrested. He then said that he wants to work on the research.

S. hit as team physician of team Gerolsteiner and Milram, already discredited. The Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl, who in 2008 became third in the Tour de France but later (blood)doping well known and for two years was suspended, told in 2009 to the Austrian newspaper Kurier that S. the man was that his doping facilitated. So said the doctor during the Tour are hotel room available for Kohls blood transfusions. S. denied the allegations at the time.


Austrian cross-country skier caught in the act during blood transfusion

Who are the suspicious athletes?

In the invasion during the world cup nordic tracks were five cross-country skiers, was arrested by the Estonians Karel Tammjarv and Andreas Veerpalu, Alexey Poltoranian from Kazakhstan and the Austrians Max Hauke and Dominik Baldauf.

The 26-year-old Hauke was, unintentionally, the face of the dopingzaak, because he by the police in the act, was caught during a blood transfusion. On a video that uitlekte through the Norwegian broadcaster NRK is a very uncomfortable Hauke to see while blood is being administered.

All five cross-country skiers, confessed to doping. Tammjarv said at a press conference that he by the former Estonian national coach Mati Alaver S. was associated, and in the world CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016 started with blood doping. Hauke called his doping two weeks later on the Austrian tv “a big mistake”. “I wanted to perform well at the world cup in their own country and saw doping as the only way to make the gap with the competition to close.”

Prosecutor Kai Gräber. ()

Suspects from eight countries

On Wednesday, march 21 made to the public prosecutor in Munich, Kai Gräber known that least 21 athletes from eight European countries and from five different sports (cross-country skiing, ice-skating, athletics and cycling are already certainly) are involved in the dopingzaak. There would be, since 2011, hundreds of blood transfusions are performed all over the world, from Germany to Hawaii, and from Austria to South Korea.

The prosecutor called no names, but a few weeks earlier confessed to the Austrian riders Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler all that they are involved in the case and blood doping have used. Preidler was in 2017 in the Sunweb-selection with Tom Dumoulin of the Giro d’italia won.

The German tv station ARD reported on Sunday, march 24, furthermore, that a German langebaanschaatser which last year was active at the Olympic Winter games of Pyeongchang one of the customers of S. would be. The German schaatsbond responded “appalled and shocked” at the news.

See also:
German skaters Ihle and Beckert deny doping

How does it now continue with this dopingzaak?

Gräber said at the press conference on 20 march that the investigation is far from finished. “This is a unique story with different plot twists, and the last chapter is not yet written.”

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