Public prosecutor’s office files charges against Stefan Denifl and Max Hauke.

Stefan Denifl

The doping raid during the Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld has first legal consequences: Two athletes Stefan Denifl and Max Hauke from Austria will be tried for sports fraud.

Seven months after the doping raid Operation Aderlass at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, the public prosecutor’s office in Innsbruck has filed charges against cyclist Stefan Denifl and cross-country skier Max Hauke. Both face prison sentences of several years if convicted.

During the Nordic World Ski Championships in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austrian and German authorities carried out raids, including a German sports physician in Erfurt. He is considered to be the presumed mastermind of an international network and is in pre-trial custody in a Munich prison. So far, the blood doping scandal has affected the names of 21 athletes from eight countries and five sports.

The former cross-country skier Hauke made the headlines very early on: He was caught red-handed at the raid in Seefeld for doping his blood. Denifl, on the other hand, has already made a complete confession. Both athletes have already been banned for four years by the Austrian Anti-Doping Legal Commission.

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Now the offenses committed by Hauke and Denifl are also to be punished by the state. The public prosecutor’s office accuses Denifl of professionally serious sports fraud. The Tyrolean practiced blood doping from 2014 to the end of his career in 2018, took growth hormones – and deceived his sponsors, who paid him more than 500,000 euros during the affected period.

The former cross-country skier Hauke, on the other hand, is accused of having a German sports physician take care of his blood doping from the 2015/2016 season and of having also taken growth hormones.