Austrian Olympic Champion Christian Hoffmann was suspended with immediate effect on Thursday by the Austrian Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) over suspicions he is involved in a blood-doping ring.
He must answer accusations that he was part owner of a blood centrifuge for the use of blood doping.
Because of the suspension, the 35-year-old will not be able to compete in the Olympics. He will have a hearing with NADA on January 29th, but even were he to be cleared he would not have enough points to qualify for the Games.
“I have not been given the opportunity to try and prove my innocence,” Hoffmann said.
“Winter is over for me. They are deliberately delaying things so I can not qualify.”
Hoffmann was World Champion in the relay in 1999 (beating Thomas Alsgaard in the sprint) and won the Olympic gold in the 30 kilometer free technique three years later (after Johann Mühlegg was stripped of his medal for doping). He has been in the spotlight since May as prosecutors investigate the possible violations of Austria’s strict anti-doping laws.
Hoffmann is also involved in a legal case over the same accusations.
Sources: Langrenn.com, CTV