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BC-SKI--Doping Ring-Reichelt,1st Ld-Writethru

May 27, 2019

INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) — Alpine ski veteran Hannes Reichelt has been questioned by police investigating a blood doping ring in sports, the Austrian ski federation said on Monday.

Reichelt denies wrongdoing in the case known as Operation Aderlass, the Austrian federation said .

He won 13 World Cup races in his career and a 2015 world championship gold medal in super-G. He has also represented athletes on an International Ski Federation committee.

The Kronen Zeitung daily reported Reichelt was questioned over contacting cross-country ski coach Gerald Heigl about training programs.

Heigl has been implicated in doping by cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, whose interview with German broadcaster ARD in January fueled the investigation.

In February, several athletes were arrested at the Nordic skiing world championships in Seefeld, Austria, and a clinic was raided in Erfurt, Germany.

Cyclists implicated include Italian former star sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. Austrian, Slovenian and Croatian riders have also been provisionally suspended.

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