Not what anybody wanted to hear again, but here it goes:
The Austrian police reps announced on Wednesday that they “succeeded in smashing an international doping network” in cross country skiing.
Suspects are not formally named by widely believed ( and in case of Austrians confirmed by their coach) to be Andreas Veerpalu, son of the double Olympic gold medalist Andrus Veerpalu, and Karel Tammjärv from Estonia, . Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin and Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke from Team Austria.
The police is giving chilling details of “one of the suspects being literally caught with a needle in his arm” at the hotel his team was staying for Seefeld – 2019
Of all suspects only Poltoranin was widely considered a podium candidate – specifically at 15k C, his favorite. Poltoranin long trained separately from the rest of Team Kazakhstan under famed Estonian coach Mati Alaver, with Andrus Veerpalu involved as adviser/ ski tech.
It’s unclear how two Austrian sprinters, Baldauf and Hauke, fit into that – if, indeed, at all.
Doping offences rock Austrian skiing particularly often – Johannes Dürr was caught red-handed and disqualified in 2014 for EPO ( erythropoietin) , while Christian Hoffmann was disqualified in 2011 for blood doping.
It’s unclear whether those detained by Austrian police will remain under lock.
It is also not known what kind of doping was alleged to be used by five athletes involved.