Austrian policeman charged for leaking skier’s doping video

VIENNA (AP) — State prosecutors in Innsbruck have charged an Austrian policeman with malpractice for leaking a police video showing a skier apparently in the middle of a blood transfusion during the doping raid at last month’s Nordic skiing world championships in Seefeld.

Prosecutors say the policeman has confessed to sharing the video to a private group on a messaging app. The footage soon surfaced on various websites and social media pages.

The policeman, who has not been identified in accordance with Austrian privacy laws, faces up to three years in prison if found guilty.

The video, which lasts a few seconds, shows Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke apparently caught with a needle in his arm while a police investigator stands in the background.

Hauke was one of five skiers among a group of nine people arrested during the Feb. 28 raids at the worlds in Seefeld and in Erfurt, Germany. The arrests included a German doctor, Mark Schmidt, who allegedly led an international blood doping network.

Since the five skiers were arrested shortly before a race, another Estonian skier has admitted to doping and two Austrian cyclists who raced in the Tour de France have been suspended.

German prosecutors said last week that as many as 21 athletes from five sports may have been part of the doping ring.