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Cycling: Sports doctor accused of masterminding doping network goes on trial

Cycling: Sports doctor accused of masterminding doping network goes on trial

The sports doctor was one of several arrested in Germany as part of Operation "Aderlass". BERLIN (AFP) – The murky business of doping in sport…

Wednesday, Sep 16

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The sports doctor was one of several arrested in Germany as part of Operation "Aderlass". BERLIN (AFP) – The murky business of doping in sport goes under the microscope on Wednesday (Sept 16) when the trial of a German doctor accused of masterminding an international blood-doping network dismantled last year opens in Munich.

Sports physician Mark Schmidt, 42, from Erfurt, and four co-defendants who allegedly aided him, are accused of helping at least two dozen athletes undergo blood transfusions to boost performance illicitly from "the end of 2011 at the latest", according to state prosecutors.

"One must not forget, this is a business with a hard currency – money," sports lawyer Michael Lehner said ahead of the trial.

"We are not dealing with an athlete who dopes himself, but with the business of doping."

So far, 23 cyclists and skiers from eight countries are known to be involved, but more names could emerge.

"More can – and should – come out than what we already know," Lehner added.

"There are certainly more athletes involved, the network will have been bigger."The case echoes that of sports doctor Michele Ferrari, who worked with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence by an Italian court in 2004 for malpractice.If found guilty in Munich, Schmidt and his co-defendants could be jailed for one to ten years under Germany’s Anti-Doping Act introduced in 2015.Schmidt has already been held in custody for 16 months.The sports doctor was one of several arrested in Germany as part of […]

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