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Operation Aderlass doctor faces five and a half year prison sentence as case draws to a close

The doctor at the centre of Operation Aderlass, Mark Schmidt, faces a five and a half year prison sentence as well as being banned from practicing medicine for five years.

That is the demand of the public prosecutors in Germany as the blood doping case, which implicated professional cyclists and skiers, draws to a close.

The ruling is expected on Friday January 15, with Schmidt having admitted to helping athletes blood dope since 2012, claiming to have wanted to help them from harming themselves by offering his professional expertise.

Operation Aderlass, the name given to the investigation that brought Schmidt’s practices to light, saw pro riders such as Georg Preidler, Kristijan Koren, Stefan Denifl, Kristijan Durasek and Borut Bozic sanctioned, as well as Alessandro Petacchi.

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During Stefan Denifl’s trial, his defence lawyer claimed “in cycling there is 90 per cent doping”. The Austrian rider was handed a four-year ban from cycling alongside Preidler, the latter also being handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence.

The court is looking to impose such a severe sentence on Schmidt as it is the largest-ever doping case uncovered in Germany.

Meanwhile, Operacion Puerto, another doping investigation into Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes is also coming to an end.

Starting in May 2006, the case involved several world-famous cyclists and teams, with the proceeding decade seeing anti-doping authorities locked in a legal battle to publish the list of names linked to the scandal.

El Pais now reports that Fuentes declined to travel to Madrid last week in order to retrieve belongings seized from him in the investigation.

The Spanish newspaper lists a machine used to process blood, mobile phones, a blood bag sealer, 100 syringes, a small fridge and ten keys and two garage remote controls as among the items Fuentes has abandoned.

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