Austrian prosecutors charge former cross-country skier Johannes Duerr for 'serious sports fraud' over involvement in doping ring

  • Austrian prosecutors said Thursday they had charged an Austrian former cross-country skier, who lifted the lid on a huge multinational doping network, with serious fraud

  • Johannes Duerr, already banned for life by the Austrian anti-doping authorities, was charged with serious sports fraud related to doping

  • Duerr confessed to doping live on German television in January, sparking an investigation that has engulfed numerous athletes in the world of skiing and cycling

Austrian prosecutors said Thursday they had charged an Austrian former cross-country skier, who lifted the lid on a huge multinational doping network, with serious fraud.

 Austrian prosecutors charge former cross-country skier Johannes Duerr for serious sports fraud over involvement in doping ring

File image of Johannes Duerr. AFP

Johannes Duerr, already banned for life by the Austrian anti-doping authorities, was charged with "serious sports fraud" related to doping, as well as facilitating doping of other athletes, they said in a statement.

The Austrian is accused of passing on growth hormones supplied by German doctor Mark Schmidt and referring other athletes to Schmidt for blood doping.

If found guilty, the 32-year-old faces up to five years in jail.

Duerr confessed to doping live on German television in January, sparking an investigation that has engulfed numerous athletes in the world of skiing and cycling.

Last month he was banned for life by Austria's anti-doping authorities for doping offences including supplying other athletes with banned substances.

German prosecutors said last month that their part of the probe into the "Aderlass" doping scandal that allegedly revolved around Schmidt was "in the home straight" and they were preparing to refer cases to court.

According to them, Schmidt is suspected of facilitating blood doping for at least 21 athletes of eight nationalities and across five different sports.

"Aderlass" is the German for "bloodletting".

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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2019 17:09:17 IST