Mark Schmidt, a German doctor, has been handed jail sentence after being found guilty of running a blood-doping ring, internationally. He has been charged for practising banned drugs and using methods to dop on 24 occasions.

According to an AFP report, while Schmidt has been jailed for four years and eight months, he has also received a further ban from practising medicine for three years. Besides, he has also been fined €158,000 (£140,000/$191,000).

Other than Schmidt, two of his co-defendants were also handed a ban of two years & four months and one year & four months. While they too were inflicted with a fine, Schmidt’s father was on the fine list as well.

It was in 2012 when Schmidt had admitted to helping athletes dope. However, he admitted to having not created the ring, stating that it was formed in a partnership, following tremendous athletes’ requests.

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“I took a wrong turn, it’s all my fault. I am infinitely sorry that I dragged the other four into it,” Schmidt apologised to the tribunal.

As for the athletes involved:

  • Austrian cyclist Stefan Denifl has been handed two-year imprisonment.
  • Austrian skier Johannes Dürr has been jailed.
  • Max Hauke and Dominik Baldauf have been handed undisclosed sentences.
  • Austrian cyclist Georg Preidler has been suspended from the sport for a year.

The report adds that the investigation was launched in 2019, as raids were conducted in Seefeld, Australia and Erfurt, Germany. Forty blood bags were recovered, along with other doping items, while the samples were sent to Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hawaii for evaluation.