UCI links three top riders and WorldTour manager to blood doping

Posted on: May 15th, 2019
Two current World Tour riders and a manager as well as a high profile ex-pro have been suspended as the Austrian blood doping inquiry continues.

The alleged blood doping that was being run out of Austria has seen two current pro riders, a retired rider and a World Tour team sports directed all named by the UCI today.

Bahrain Merida has seen two of its people implicated; rider Koren Kristijan and sports director Bozic Borut.

Alessandro Petacchi, who won 48 Grand Tour stages in a career than only ended in 2015, is also named.

UAE Team Emirates rider Durasek Kristijan is the fourth person named by the UCI in the context of potential anti-doping violations by the UCI.

Kristijan’s name emerges just 24 hours after his UAE Team Emirates squad said its Colombian rider Juan Sebastian Molano (24) had left the Giro after “seemingly unusual physiological results”.

Koren Kristijan, Bozic Borut, Alessandro Petacchi and Durasek Kristijan are all provisionally suspended by the UCI on the basis of information received from the Austrian authorities.

Durasek Kristijan is under suspicion for last year while the others are under suspicion for the period 2012 to 2013.

Koren was riding the Giro with Bahrain Merida but has been sent home suspended by the team.

Durasek was riding the Tour of California with UAE Team Emirates and has also been suspended.

In March, Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke was as one of five athletes arrested in Seefeld, Austria, during the Nordic World Ski Championships.

Leaked footage of what is said to be an anti doping raid showed him in the middle of a blood transfusion process.

A sports doctor was also arrested as part of the operation that saw the skiers detained.

The international media has reported the doctor is the head figure in what is an alleged blood doping ring.

It is further alleged he kept bags of blood in freezers, which look set to be examined for DNA.

The four people named by the UCI today is linked to the doping inquiry that first became public knowledge two months ago after the arrests of the skiers.

“The UCI has also provisionally suspended the above-mentioned individuals pursuant to Article 7.9.3 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules,” the UCI said of Koren Kristijan, Bozic Borut, Alessandro Petacchi and Durasek Kristijan.

“The UCI and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI to define and lead the anti-doping testing strategy and investigations in our sport, have been in close contact with the sport and state authorities involved in the Aderlass investigation, in particular with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Austrian law enforcement authorities.

“The UCI and the CADF, will continue to cooperate with and assist all parties involved in these investigations but, in view of the nature of the ongoing investigation, will not make any further comment at this stage.”