Cops Reveal Doping Docs Secret Blood Transfusion Lab

This is the secret laboratory used by the German doctor embroiled in a blood transfusion doping scandal that made headlines after the arrest of Austrian skier Max Hauke filmed apparently mid-transfusion.

German doctor Mark Schmidt, 40, and four of his helpers, one of them being his father, have been arrested in a suspected blood doping scandal which could involve as many as 21 athletes from eight nations and five different sports, three of them being cross-country skiing, cycling and marathon running.

The case comes after Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke was filmed giving himself an alleged blood transfusion.

Credit: Golders
Frozen bags of blood in the garage

Customs investigators have now shared pictures of the hidden laboratory which is the alleged centre of the massive doping deceit.

In the garage in the German city of Erfurt, Mark Schmidt allegedly adulterated the blood of the athletes, only to re-transfuse it back into them later.

The doping laboratory is located behind a homemade wooden wall inside the garage.

Pictures show a special fridge in which blood bags can be frozen to temperatures down to minus 80 degrees Celsius.

Investigators also found two blood bags in a wash basin to slowly thaw them to normal temperatures as well as a device for collecting blood components.

According to Graeber, the blood was transported by Schmidt’s helpers to countries all over the world where it was re-transfused back into athletes.

Credit: Golders
Investigators found a special fridge in which blood samples can be frozen to -80 degrees Celsius

Investigators believe he made more than 100,000 EUR (86,842 GBP) a year with the laboratory, which has reportedly been up and running since 2011.

Graeber said: “There is believed to have been a three-figure number of cases of blood withdrawal and re-transfusion around the world.” 

Five cross-country skiers from Estonia, Austria and Kazakhstan were arrested in Austria last February during the Nordic World Ski Championships and Munich’s chief prosecutor Kai Graeber said: “We could identify doping using their own blood with 21 athletes from eight nations.”

Since the opening of the investigation another Estonian skier admitted having used doping while two Austrian Tour de France cyclists have been suspended. 

Of those arrested, the following have been named: skiers Dominik Baldauf (Austria), Karel Tammjarv (Estonia), Andreas Veerpalu (Estonia), Algo Karp (Estonia), and Alexej Poltoranin (Kazakhstan) aong with Austrian cyclists Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler.

The investigation into the alleged blood doping circuit was started after cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who himself was convicted of the use of doping after the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, admitted in a TV documentary to having received blood transfusions in Germany.

Credit: Golders
Investigators also found two blood bags in a wash basin to slowly thaw them to normal temperatures

He has since been arrested as well.

According to local media, Schmidt or one of his helpers flew to Hawaii with blood bags for the Honolulu marathon.

He allegedly also offered his services during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang where he had a two-man team present.

Reportedly, two of Schmidt’s helpers had no medical background.

According to investigators, several athletes had complications such as tachycardia and hot flushes during the blood transfusions. 

Schmidt’s makeshift laboratory also did not adhere to hygiene standards.

Anti-doping expert Fritz Soergel said: “Technically, he was at a high level, comparable to a blood bank. The fridge looks passable. 

“But he has also taken great risks. To do such a complex process in a garage, that is unacceptable. That’s the job of laboratories which follow strict regulations.”

According to local media, Schmidt and his helpers each face up to 10 years in prison if they are found guilty.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport

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