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Georg Preidler started blood doping 'out of curiosity'

Joe Robinson
17 Jan 2020

Austrian rider is facing €250,000 lawsuit for sports fraud

Former Groupama-FDJ rider Georg Preidler has told a court he started blood doping 'out of pure curiosity'. The banned rider appeared in court in Austria facing charges of sporting fraud as part of the Operation Aderlass investigations.

Preidler is currently in court facing accusations that he defrauded his Team Sunweb and Groupama-FDJ teams by regularly blood doping and taking growth hormones between May 2017 and early 2019.

While the Austrian has admitted to blood doping 'out of pure curiosity' from 2018, having made the decision to do so in 2017, he denies taking any performance-enhancing substances.

During the hearing, the court was told how Preidler initially used syringes from a 'dodgy figure' without knowing what substance he was talking although stating 'the effect was not noticeable for me, which is why I soon lost interest.'

It was after this that he began to blood dope with German doctor Mark Schmidt, who has been at the centre of the investigations for helping sportsmen from a range of sports dope.

So far, Danilo Hondo, Kristijan Koren, Kristijan Durasek, Borut Bozic, Alessandro Pettachi and Stefan Denifl have all been named as former clients of Schmidt with Denifl set to stand trial in early February, too.

Preidler is facing a €250,000 sports fraud lawsuit for damages caused through his blood doping while a fellow unnamed former pro rider is facing trial for obtaining growth hormone for Preidler.

The court case being heard in Innsbruck, Austria has been adjourned to a later date.

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