Two German WorldTour cyclists have reportedly been linked to the Operation Aderlass blood doping scandal, according to a report by German broadcaster ARD.
The investigation has snowballed through 2019 to reveal a blood-doping network operating across multiple sports, including cycling. At the centre of the network is disgraced German doctor, Mark Schmidt, formerly the team doctor of professional cycling teams Milram and Gerolsteiner.
To date the operation has involved 23 athletes, a number of them from cycling. Georg Preidler, Stefan Denifl, Danilo Hondo, Kristijan Koren, Kristijan Durasek, Borut Bozic and Alessandro Pettachi have since been charged for their connections to Schmidt.
The names of the latest two cyclists to be linked to the ongoing investigation have not been made public, although both are said to be German.
ARD has confirmed that both riders rode the Tour de France, were on “high class” WorldTour-level teams, and one is still active. There are presently 18 active German WorldTour riders who have also participated in the Tour de France.
Mark Schmidt has reportedly been detained since February and cooperated with investigators in the first few months, although “decided to end the cooperation” in May.