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Austrian police investigating man who leaked doping raid video

The leaking of a video showing Austrian skier Max Hauke apparently caught with a needle in his arm during a police raid on an alleged doping network has led to consequences for the leaker.

Skier Max Hauke apparently caught with needle in arm during raid

Austrian Federal Police officers stand at the finish area of a men's cross country skiing 15km classic competition, at the Nordic Ski World Championships, in Seefeld, Austria, on Wednesday. Austrian authorities say five elite athletes and four others have been arrested in doping raids in the country and neighboring Germany amid the Nordic skiing world championships. (Matthias Schrader/Associated Press)

The leaking of a video showing Austrian skier Max Hauke apparently caught with a needle in his arm during a police raid on an alleged doping network has led to consequences for the leaker.

Austria's Federal Police Office said on Friday the person who shared the video of the Wednesday raid in Seefeld on a messaging app was "immediately removed from duty." It did not identify the man or his job, saying only that he faced criminal and also departmental disciplinary measures.

The video, posted online by a Norwegian news portal, shows Hauke apparently with a banned blood transfusion going to his arm, while a police investigator stands in the background.

Police spokesman Vincenz Kriegs confirmed the video showed Hauke.

Police raids in Erfurt, Germany, and at the nordic skiing world championships in Seefeld led to the arrests of five elite skiers and four other people on Wednesday.

Hauke and Dominik Baldauf were the two Austrian skiers arrested, as were four-time Olympian Alexei Poltoranin of Kazakhstan, and Estonian teammates Karel Tammjarv and Andreas Veerpalu.

All five were provisionally suspended on Friday, the International Ski Federation said.

"If there is a silver lining, I hope that this decisive action sends a clear message to other athletes that there will be severe personal, legal and sporting consequences against doping offenders," FIS president Gian Franco Kasper said.

The doctor at the centre of the case is Mark Schmidt, who worked for the Gerolsteiner cycling team around the time Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl was stripped of third place at the 2008 Tour de France for doping.

Schmidt was arrested in Erfurt, where he has a medical practice. The remaining three people arrested were said to be his associates.

Schmidt, who always denied any involvement in doping, treated soccer players, swimmers, weightlifters, handball players, and track and field athletes, news agency dpa reported.

German Olympic Federation president Alfons Hoermann said he was confident Schmidt had not treated any of the German team's athletes.

"Further proceedings will show at the very end what the overall situation looks like," Hoermann told broadcaster ZDF.

Dieter Csefan of the Austrian Federal Police Office said the case will "certainly" spread to other sports.

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