Operation Aderlass, is being investigated by doping on the 2016 and 2017 Tours


ROME – Operation Aderlass is not over, it couldn’t, it still has a lot to tell. The system put in place by Dr. Mark Schmidt may have caught many larger fishes than Denifl, Preidler, Koren and Durasek, and cross-country skiers Hauke, Baldauf, Poltoranin, Veerpalu in its meshes. According to the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, after asking the Anti-Doping Foundation (Cadf) in November to retroactively investigate the blood samples taken during the 2016 and above 2017 Tour de France, the UCI now has worrying results. The suspicion is that in those tubes there may be traces of a substance – not revealed, apparently of American origin and production – illegible to the doping controls of the time, but now traceable with today’s techniques. However, the parties involved are not Schmidt’s customers.


Doubts about that 2017 Tour full of twists

The “bloodletting” operation was born in 2019, during the Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, after the confessions of the former cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, when the Austrian Max Hauke ​​was caught by the local police with a needle in the mood, intent on carrying out an autotransfusion of “processed” blood. A system was then defeated which led back to the cellars of the house and the refrigerators of the German doctor from Erfurt Mark Schmidt, who had been involved years ago in the Human Plasma scandal. In addition to active cyclists, Alessandro Petacchi (later disqualified for events in 2011) and the chief operating officer of Bahrain-Merida, at the time the team of Vincenzo Nibali, the Slovenian Milan Erzen ended up in the sights. The rereading of the 2016 and 2017 samples risks uncovering an immense Pandora’s box. For the record, the two tours were won by Chris Froome.
The test labs are in Seibersdorf (Austria) and Cologne (Germany). “During this time, there were a number of banned substances that were not available on the regular pharmaceutical market and for which there were still no optimal detection methods in the labs. Since then these methods have been improved,” said Peter Van Eonoo, director of the Ghent Anti-Doping Laboratory. “Based on additional information, we identified the samples and performed the first analyzes. We refrain from commenting at this time.” The criminal trial against Mark Schmidt is expected to begin in September.

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Mario Calabresi
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