Video Shows Austrian Olympic Skier Caught In The Act Of 'Blood Doping'
Max Hauke, who has competed at the Olympics twice for his country, is a cross-country skier and was taking part in the FIS Nordic World Skiing Championships in Seefeld, Austria.
They key word there is was. He's now been disqualified after he was caught having an illegal blood transfusion when police bust into several properties aimed at targeting a doping network.
He's not alone, either. Hauke is just one of five skiers who have been arrested following the police action.
The video, released by Austrian publication Vorarlberg Online, shows the 26-year-old athlete sitting in a room hooked up wires pumping blood into his body. To say he looks crestfallen is an understatement.
Not so much caught red-handed as red-armed.
Blood transfusions are banned across all sports as they give athletes the chance to compete with higher levels of oxygen in their blood. That gives them greater performance levels, more stamina, and an all-around unfair advantage.
It's a well-known and reviled form of cheating basically.
In fact, the most famous participant in this practice - blood doping, as it is commonly known - was none other than the cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Hauke has competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and most recently in PyeongChang, South Korea. He had already taken part in two events at the latest world championships, and recently won the 20km cross country skiing discipline at the Alpen Cup.
You'd suspect that that title will be stripped from him after this, though. It's going to be a long time before Hauke hits the slopes competitively again.
The raids were part of a police plan to target a German doping ring and 'criminal organisation' that is thought to have been running such a scam for several years.
A police statement said that a sports doctor called Mark Schmidt is alleged to be the ringleader of the organisation, it goes on to say that he was arrested on Wednesday in Germany.
Schmidt previously worked in cycling - the sport that is the benchmark for illicit doping - and is thought to have been involved in doping incidents whilst there.
In 2008, Bernhard Kohl, one of the riders for the Gerolsteiner team for which Schmidt was employed, was stripped of his third place finish in the Tour de France.
Police arrested nine people in total across 16 raids. All of the arrested remain in custody.
As well as the Austrian Hauke, police arrested another Austrian competitor, two Estonians, and a Kazakh athlete.
Featured Image Credit: Vorarlberg Online