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German broadcaster may not call UV treatment blood doping

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It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling

It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Marcel Kittel (Project 1t4i), wearing the points jersey, gets aero during stage 4.

Marcel Kittel (Project 1t4i), wearing the points jersey, gets aero during stage 4. (Image credit: ASO)
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Oman stage 6 winner Marcel Kittel (Project 1t4i)

Oman stage 6 winner Marcel Kittel (Project 1t4i) (Image credit: ASO)

The German television station WDR may not claim that Dr. Andreas Franke conducted “forbidden blood treatments,” a German court has ruled. The broadcaster faces a fine and possible imprisonment of its director if it continues to make such claims.

In January, the Sportschau reported that Franke, working at an Olympic training facility in Erfurt, had removed blood from athletes and treated it with UV light before returning the blood to the athletes.

Several cyclists have said that they underwent such treatments, including Marcel Kittel of Project 1t4i.

Public prosecutors have been investigating Franke since last spring for these treatments. The World Anti-Doping Agency forbids blood treatments, but Franke claims that the UV light treatment has only been forbidden since January of this year.

Franke  claims that the treatment was for infections and “could not be represented as a doping violation.”  The WADA challenges that statement.