4th February 2021

NADA Germany initiates proceedings against Björn Thurau

Germany’s national anti-doping agency (NADA Deutschland) has ‘initiated proceedings’ against Björn Thurau for several possible anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs). The former professional cyclist was a presenter on the Global Cycling Network’s GCN auf Deutsch, which launched in January last year. NADA Deutschland said that it had notified Thurau, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the international cycling union (UCI) and the German cycling federation (BDR). 

‘In the course of the investigations in “Operation Aderlass” and in close cooperation with Antidoping Switzerland and the Munich I Public Prosecutor’s Office, NADA received findings regarding several doping-relevant facts of the athlete in a period from 2011 to 2014 that is not legally time-barred under sports law’, read a statement. ‘These are concrete indications that do not exclude the athlete’s use of doping substances and doping methods in violation of the rules, their inadmissible possession as well as the placing on the market and administration of doping substances and doping methods to third parties by the athlete over a period of several years, which is inadmissible under sporting law’.

At the trial of Dr. Mark Schmidt, Anti-Doping Switzerland investigators passed details to NADA Deutschland about a conversation between Pirmin Lang and Thurau about delivery of doping substances, reporters for ARD’s Sportschau revealed last month. Lang retired in February last year after admitting being part of the blood doping network operated by Dr. Schmidt, which was the subject of the Operation Aderlass investigations. In August, Lang became the first athlete to be sentenced under 2012’s Swiss Sports Promotion Act (SpoFöG), receiving a small fine.

Dr. Schmidt was sentenced to four years and ten months in prison in January, which means that Anti-Doping Switzerland may begin disciplinary proceedings against Lang. In February last year, it said that it may consider opening disciplinary proceedings against the former cyclist after the criminal trial had concluded. However, it doesn’t comment on investigations. 

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