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Vienna blood bank investigation closed

Austrian authorities have closed their investigation of "Humanplasma", a blood bank in Vienna. Charges could not be brought because blood doping is illegal in Austria only since last summer.

The investigation was opened in January 2008, based on allegations that some 30 to 50 world-class athletes, ranging from skiers to cyclists, had visited the facilities for forbidden blood transfusions.

Blood doping became illegal in Austria only in August 2008. Before that, illegal doping was defined to explicitly include the use of medications. There was no indication that the Clinic used any sort of medications, prosecutors said, nor was there evidence of insurance fraud.(SW)