Vienna: An Austrian skier caught on camera apparently carrying out a blood transfusion when caught by police in a doping raid was sentenced on Wednesday for sports fraud.
Max Hauke, who has already received a four-year ban by the Austrian Anti-Doping Agency, was one of numerous athletes in the world of skiing and cycling and beyond caught up in the 'Aderlass' doping scandal.
A court in Innsbruck sentenced the former cross-country skier to a five-month suspended jail sentence for "serious sports fraud". He was also fined 480 euros ($530).
The 27-year-old, who pleaded guilty to taking growth hormones and blood doping but not to causing sponsors damages amounting to 50,000 euros as accused, can appeal the verdict.
Hauke has admitted to blood doping from April 2016 until his arrest during the Nordic skiing world championships in the Austrian resort of Seefeld in February.
"I knew I was talented, and I believed what was needed to get to the top was doping," said Hauke, who has apologised for his action.
The police officer, who distributed the video of Hauke taken during the raid, has been fined after being found guilty of breaching professional confidentiality.
The 'Aderlass' doping operation is alleged to have revolved around German doctor Mark Schmidt, whom Hauke said he paid 10,000 euros per season.
According to the public prosecutor in Munich, Schmidt is suspected of having facilitated blood doping for at least 21 athletes of eight nationalities and across five different sports.
An athlete can benefit from blood doping by transfusing his own blood, treated to raise the red blood cell count that facilitates oxygen delivery in the body, thereby increasing power and stamina.
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Updated Date: Oct 30, 2019 22:38:14 IST