Another skier arrested in widening doping scandal

Prosecutors in the city of Innsbruck said they have arrested another Nordic skier but did not name him or give details of why he was arrested.

Johannes Duerr in action at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.   -  Getty Images

Austrian authorities on Tuesday arrested a cross-country skier already suspended over doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to media reports, in a widening scandal following several arrests last week.

Five other skiers and two cyclists are under investigation as part of a probe into an alleged doping ring based in Germany and led by a 40-year-old sports doctor named as “Mark S”.

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Prosecutors in the city of Innsbruck said they have arrested another Nordic skier. They did not name him or give details of why he was arrested.

But the Kronen newspaper named the man as Johannes Duerr, who was thrown out of the Sochi Olympics in 2014 after testing positive for blood booster EPO.

In a German TV programme broadcast in January, Duerr set out detailed claims of how he went about doping, as well alleging the complicity of some employees of the Austrian Ski Association (OSV).

Prosecutors say last week's police crackdown on the alleged doping ring based in Erfurt in Germany was sparked by Duerr's revelations.

Austrian police say the ring has been active for at least five years. 'Mark S' is thought by police to have been a central figure in the doping ring and was arrested along with an alleged accomplice.

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Five skiers have been arrested: two Austrians, Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, Estonians Karel Tammjaerv and Andreas Veerpalu, and Kazakh athlete Alexei Poltoranin.

Austrian cyclists Georg Preidler and Stefan Denifl were suspended by the International Cycling Union Tuesday after being caught up in the same probe last week.