The UCI announced Wednesday that it has notified Austrian mountain biker Christina Kollmann-Forstner of a potential Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) based on information it received from the law enforcement authorities of Austria in the context of the Operation Aderlass blood doping ring, according to a statement from the sport governing body.
The ADRV used to suspend Kollmann-Forstner is listed under the Use of Prohibited Method and Possession of Prohibited Method. The UCI stated that after reviewing all elements in its possession, it has decided to provisionally suspend Kollmann-Forstner with immediate effect pursuant to Article 7.9.3 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
"The UCI and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated to define and lead the strategy on anti-doping testing and investigations in our sport, will continue to cooperate and assist all parties involved in the Aderlass investigation," the UCI stated in the press release.
Kollmann-Forstner is a former road racer who competed under the teams Forno D’Asolo Colavita in 2011, Scappa Speed Kueens in 2012 and No Radunion Vitalogic in 2015. She has most recently been competing in mountain biking up until last fall, and finished second to Annika Langvad in the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships last year.
Operation Aderlass emerged during the Nordic Ski World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, in late February, when five cross country skiers were arrested as part of the inquiry into blood doping activities.
It emerged through the investigation that roughly 40 bags of blood and transfusion equipment were discovered in a garage in Erfurt, east of Munich linked to doctor Mark Schmidt. Schmidt was one of four people arrested, but it was reported that he has cooperated with the investigation and revealed details of his blood doping ring and his clients. On March 20, German investigators revealed that 21 athletes from five different sports and eight different countries were involved.
In cycling, Stefan Denifl, formerly of Aqua Blue Sport, and Georg Preidler of Groupama-FDJ admitted to being connected to the blood doping ring. The UCI has since suspended Borut Bozic and current Bahrain-Merida rider Kristijan Koren, along with Kristijan Durasek of UAE Team Emirates and retired professional rider Alessandro Petacchi for their links to Operation Aderlass.
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