A German doctor has been sentenced to more than four years in jail and suspended from practicing medicine for his role in running an international blood doping ring.
According to Inside the Games, Mark Schmidt was sentenced to four years and eight months after he was found guilty of 24 counts of using doping methods and two counts of prohibited use of drugs. He’s also banned from practicing medicine for an additional three years, and was fined €158,000, or about $191,986 in U.S. Dollars.
Schmidt was part of a blood doping ring in which prosecutors said he and others helped athletes in endurance sports undergo blood transfusions. Four others were charged along with Schmidt. Two of them were given suspended jail sentences. The other two, including Schmidt’s father, were fined.
The case is part of Germany’s Operation Aderlass, a law enforcement campaign that has caught and sentenced multiple athletes from various nations in cycling and cross country skiing. The operation included police raids of Nordic Ski World Championships in Austria and Germany. Inside the Games reports that around 40 blood bags were seized in the German raid, and that the blood doping ring had transported blood around the world.
Schmidt says he didn’t initiate the doping ring, but apologized for his role and for getting the four other co-defendents involved.
In other anti-doping news, the International Testing Agency has announced charges against three weight-lifters: Rattikan (Siripuch) Gulnoi of Thailand, Dumitru Captari of Romania and Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan. The charges came after German news outlet ARD produced a documentary called “Lord of the Lifters,” triggering a report on the International Weightlifting Federation. The files from that report have been handed to the ITA, which is reviewing 146 files it hopes to resolve by spring.