Former Austrian skiing world champion Reichelt questioned in doping inquiry
Li Xiang
Former world champion Alpine skier Hannes Reichelt has been questioned as part of an investigation into a blood-doping ring, said the Austrian Ski Federation (OSV) on Monday.
According to the Kronen Zeitung daily, Reichelt was questioned for contacting Gerald Heigl, a cross-country ski coach implicated in the scandal, about training programs.
The investigation, known as "Operation Aderlass," centers around allegations made by Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr in February about an organization in Germany that has carried out blood doping for years.
Duerr himself is no stranger to controversy having failed a dope test and subsequently banned from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Heigl worked as a coach for the OSV between 2004 and 2017 and was accused of having promoted doping among athletes from "various disciplines." He was jailed last Friday.
Because of his connections to Heigl, Reichelt was questioned by police. But the 38-year-old veteran skier denied any wrongdoings.
An alpine skier in action. /VCG Photo

An alpine skier in action. /VCG Photo

"(The allegations) come from the cross-country skiing area. The allegations are from a former serviceman and a good friend of Johannes Durr. This servant man claims to have provided doping for Gerald H, who apparently was meant for me. I can clearly say that's not the case," said Reichelt in a statement from the OSV.
Reichelt also explained his relation with Heigl.
"Gerald went to school with me and is a good friend of mine. Since 2005, Gerald has written training plans for me and in the last two years we have also trained a few times together. All I can say is that Gerald never mentioned doping to me and it was never an issue."
Having made his World Cup debut in 2001, Reichelt claimed in total 13 wins at the tournament. He also won the men's Super-G silver medal at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2011 in Germany and the gold medal at the 2015 event in the United States.
Doping is very rare in alpine skiing and there are only three confirmed cases so far. However, that did not stop skiing athletes from being arrested in the investigation. They were also joined by cyclists. 
According to sports website, all detained athletes have been released.