A recently uploaded video shows Austrian skier Max Hauke receiving a blood transfusion in the Austrian ski resort of Seefeld. Blood transfusion is one form of so-called "blood doping" — a term describing a number of techniques designed to increase and optimize oxygen delivery to the muscles. Other methods include the administration of erythropoiesis-stimulating substances, blood substitutes, natural or artificial altitude facilities and innovative gene therapies.
Hauke was arrested during a series of police raids conducted during the Nordic World Cup Ski Championships, which take place between 19 February and 3 March. The raids targeted a Germany-based "criminal organization" suspected of conducting blood doping services for years
"Athletes have been caught using unauthorized methods or substances. Unfortunately — it shocks me — two of our athletes are among them. They have been taken into custody," Markus Gandler of the Austrian Skiing Federation said in an interview.
"The raids were part of a wider police operation targeting criminals from a number of European countries, and WADA's intelligence and investigations department has been providing information and other assistance to the authorities in the course of their operation," the World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement following the raids.