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Head of blood doping ring convicted, sentenced to prison

German physician Mark Schmidt was convicted and sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in prison on Friday for his function as head of a world blood doping ring uncovered within the Operation Aderlass prison investigation.

The Munich regional courtroom additionally banned the 42-year-old Schmidt from working for 3 years and convicted 4 accomplices. One of these was sentenced to two years and 4 months in prison, one other obtained a sentence of one 12 months and 4 months, whereas the opposite two have been fined.

“We finally have a verdict that gives harsh penalties for cheats in sport,” German Olympic Federation president Alfons Hörmann stated. “It’s a hugely important signal for the whole world of sport and valuable endorsement for all those who respect and practice the idea of fair play.”

The courtroom discovered that Schmidt handled winter-sports athletes and cyclists with blood doping for years. In one case, he administered a preparation to an Austrian mountain biker that was not authorized for human use, main to a conviction for harmful bodily hurt.

Senior state prosecutor Kai Graeber stated the courtroom “followed the motions and statements of the prosecution to a large extent” and that he was happy the courtroom banned Schmidt from practising drugs.

“It more than clearly shows that doping is the wrong way,” stated Andrea Gotzmann, chief government of Germany’s National Anti-Doping Agency. “It’s important to see that the anti-doping law applies.”

Schmidt, who had his medical follow in Erfurt, was accused of violating drug and doping legal guidelines in practically 150 instances. He beforehand labored for the Gerolsteiner biking group across the time Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl was stripped of third place on the 2008 Tour de France for doping.

“The court assumed that the defendant had used prohibited doping methods in 24 cases,” courtroom spokesman Florian Gliwitzky stated. “In addition, two cases involved the use of drugs for doping purposes in professional sport. Finally, one case of dangerous bodily harm was sentenced.”

The blood doping community was uncovered following police raids within the central German metropolis of Erfurt and on the Nordic snowboarding world championships in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria in February 2019. Blood luggage have been seized within the raids.

Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Dürr lifted the lid on the scandal when he disclosed particulars of his blood doping in a documentary by German broadcaster ARD in January 2019. Dürr stated he had used transfusions and the banned substance EPO to enhance his stamina, with common therapies in Germany.

Many of the athletes concerned have already confronted trial. Austrian bike owner Stefan Denifl was convicted of fraud on Tuesday, when he obtained a two-year sentence with 16 months suspended after being accused of doping from 2014 to 2018.

Another Austrian bike owner, Georg Preidler, was given a 12-month suspended sentence in Austria final 12 months.

Austrian skier Max Hauke was caught in broadly circulated footage with a needle in his arm throughout one of the raids. He and others together with compatriot Dominik Baldauf have been later given five-month suspended prison phrases by Innsbruck Regional Court for critical business sports activities fraud after admitting to doping.

Dürr was banned for all times by the Austrian Anti-Doping Legal Committee in 2019.

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