On 27th February in Seefeld (AUT) the Austrian police detained five cross-country athletes during a surprise raid “razzia” under their national laws relating to doping.
The five athletes involved in the raid were: Dominik Baldauf (AUT), Max Hauke (AUT), Karel Tammjaerv (EST), Andreas Veerpalu (EST) and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ).
The authorities stated that the arrests were part of a wide, long-term, investigation into a doping operation by a German Sports Medicine doctor involving multiple sports, “on suspicion of commercial sport fraud and the use of illicit substances and methods of doping purposes”.
After working closely with the Austrian public authorities, as well as the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency, FIS has taken decisive action and issued provisional suspensions forthwith for three of the above named athletes in accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules. The two Austrian athletes fall under the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Doping Agency, who has likewise implemented provisional suspensions under the FIS Rules.
In accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules and the FIS policy of no tolerance against doping, the five above-mentioned athletes are provisionally suspended with immediate effect from 1st March 2019, based on the charge of article 2.2: “Use or Attempted Use of a Prohibited Method”. The National Ski Associations of the athletes have been duly notified of the opening of disciplinary proceedings and the implementation of the provisional suspensions.
FIS will now deal with the cases according to the procedural rules in the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, completing the investigation and affording the athletes the right of due process with a personal hearing before a final decision is reached.
“FIS will not tolerate doping in any form. Any athlete and other persons who blatantly disregard the rules and regulations that protect clean athletes and the integrity of our sport will be punished,” says FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. “While the events of the last few days have shed a negative light on the sport, it also sends a clear signal that doping will not be tolerated by FIS and comes with very steep consequences. It there is a silver lining, I hope that this decisive action sends a clear message to other athletes that there will be severe personal, legal and sporting consequences against doping offenders.”
FIS cannot issue any further information about the status of these cases until the FIS Doping Panel has undertaken further procedures in view of the right of confidentiality provided for in the regulations.