Doping scandal widens as another cross-country skier arrested in Austria
CGTN

Austrian police arrested another cross-country skier on Tuesday in connection with a doping investigation that led to several arrests at the Nordic skiing world championships last week, the prosecutors' office in the city of Innsbruck said.

The prosecutors' office declined to name the athlete arrested but said that his statements had set off an investigation in Germany that led to those arrests and others.

Munich's state prosecutor's office said last week the investigation was triggered by statements made earlier this year to a German broadcaster by Austrian cross-country skier and doping offender Johannes Duerr.

"In the course of the doping investigation, a suspicion arose regarding another cross-country skier who had himself previously through his own statements set in motion the investigation in Germany against a sports doctor in Erfurt," the Innsbruck prosecutors' office said in a statement.

Two people, including a 40-year-old sports doctor whom police believe to have been at the center of an international doping ring run out of the German city of Erfurt, were arrested in Germany the same day.

The prosecutors' office said it must decide within 48 hours whether to remand the athlete in custody or release him.

Austrian cross-country skier Dominik Baldauf competing in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, February 21, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Austrian cross-country skier Dominik Baldauf competing in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, February 21, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Austrian police carried out a series of arrests and raids last Wednesday along with police in Germany in a crackdown on an "internationally active doping network."

Two Austrians, Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, are said to be among five athletes arrested at the world championships in the Austrian resort of Seefeld on suspicion of blood doping.

Austria's Nordic skiing coach Trond Nystad, 48, said last Friday that he was resigning because he did "not want to go on" after two of his skiers were implicated in doping.

He previously coached in the United States, Switzerland and Norway, before taking the job in 2016.

On Monday, Austrian cyclist Georg Preidler, who was part of the French elite team Groupama-FDJ, also admitted to doping. His team said he had "blood taken" in 2018.

(With input from AFP and Reuters)

(Front page photo shows skiers compete during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, March 3, 2019)