German broadcaster ARD reported that the laboratory under investigation had been linked to 30 athletes and that two-thirds were said to be German and from the sports of Cross-Country and Biathlon. ARD has since apologized for the accusations, which it admitted had no foundation in fact.
The international anti-doping agency WADA informed Austria's authorities in November of their suspicions that Humanplasma, a Vienna-based blood bank, had engaged in illicit blood-doping activities.
When initially told of the report, German athletes and coaches unilaterally rejected the charges.
German National cross-country coach Jochen Behle told ARD, “our victories have been clean. I'd bet my life on it.”
Defending World Cup champion Tobias Angerer of Germany took a similar stance. “As far as I'm concerned, doping inspectors can freeze my blood and let it thaw 10 years from now. I have nothing to hide; I am the best among clean athletes and that says a lot about the sport.”