VIENNA, Feb 27, (RTRS): Five athletes from Austria, Kazakhstan and Estonia were arrested on Wednesday in anti-doping raids at the Nordic skiing world championships in the Austrian resort of Seefeld, police said.
The raids were part of a broader operation targeting a Germany-based “criminal organisation” suspected of having carried out blood doping for years, the Austrian police said.
A sports doctor is believed to be at the centre of the organisation, the police said in a statement.
In total nine people were arrested in 16 raids in Seefeld and Germany, the Austrian police said, adding that the operation was coordinated with the German authorities.
Two of the athletes arrested in Seefeld are from Austria, two are Estonian and one is from Kazakhstan, the police said.
Two other people were arrested in Seefeld while two people including the sports doctor were arrested in Germany, they added.
The raids were part of an investigation that has lasted several months on suspicion of “professional sport fraud” and “use of prohibited substances and methods for doping purposes”.