The German National Anti Doping Agency has expressed interest in investigating whether Andreas Klöden, Patrik Sinkewitz and Matthias Kessler used illegal doping products or methods. It has asked to see the files from prosecutors in Freiburg, Germany.
Those prosecutors recently closed an investigaiton into doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmitt, who while associated with the Freiburg University Clinic, were also team doctors for Team Telekom/T-Mobile. There was said to be “no sufficient suspicion of concrete violations of criminal provisions.” However, it also said that it was “verifiable” that those three riders were involved in blood doping in 2006.
The NADA has now asked to see the records to determine whether there are grounds to open a proceeding against the three riders. “The public prosecutor specifically accused the athletes of doping,” NADA director Lars Mortsiefer told the FAZ.net. “Now we must determine, whether there are violations of the anti-doping rules.”
Patrik Sinkewitz, who tested positive for testosterone in 2007, received a shortened ban after co-operating with investigators. He is said to have told them that he, Klöden and Kessler underwent blood doping at the Freiburg University Clinic on July 2, 2006. Under sports law, the statute of limitations runs for eight years, meaning it would expire July 2, 2014.
Klöden has consistently denied any doping charges. The public prosecutors investigated for his involvement in the blood doping scheme, but the case ended in November 2009, when he made a 25,000 Euro payment to charity to settle the charges. He is currently riding the US Pro Cycling Challenge for Team RadioShack-Nissan, and is the only one of the three still active.
Sinkewitz has made various statements about who was or was not involved in the blood doping which is said to have occurred during the 2006 Tour de France. He returned to racing after serving his ban. In March 2011 he was suspended after testing positive for human growth hormone, but those charges were ultimately dismissed.
Kessler tested positive for testosterone in 2007, and was given a two-year ban. Whilst training for a comeback, he suffered severe head injuries in a crash n Mallorca in January 2010. He is said to be still be recovering.