Yesterday ARD reported that several world class biathlon- and cross country skiers where involved in the Vienna blood bank case. Today, ARD correspondent for doping cases, Hajo Seppelt softened the allegations. In an interview with WDR radio 2, a radiostation
which belongs to ARD, Seppelt said: "The DSV is not suspected of sending their athletes to Vienna." Seppelt continued by saying:
"Its not sure that current memebers of the national squads are involved. Its more about cases from the past."
A few hours before the interview DSV had strongly critized ARD without naming the German TV station. DSV president Alfons
Hörmann told German sports newsagency SID: "There is no doping case DSV as long as there is no proof. We have studied the
case very carefully: Until today there are no details and no names." The spokesperson of DSV, Stefan Schwarzbach said: "Those
who announced this case will have to come up with something. It can't be that this will take days or weeks."
The DSV is upset about the media reports and wants to hear names. DSV is considering legal action: "We think about a lot
of things," Hörmann said. Hörmann demands the next step "of those" who published rumours on "whatever basis."
Meanwhile all four named cyclists denied that they are involved in the Vienna blood bank case. Yesterday, George Totschnig denied his involvement and today the other three riders reacted. Michael Rasmussen's manager, Mads Frederiksen said: "Every time there were allegations,
they just dissolved into thin air. It is therefore completely uncalled for that the media keep coming forward with unsubstantiated
accusations like the ones from ARD now."
Vuelta winner Denis Menchov told Dutch daily newspaper 'De Telegraaf': "I have never heard of this insitution." The russian
rider meant the Austrian company Humanplasma. Michel Boogerd told the same newspaper: "This is an enormous smutch on my career."
Boogerd continued by saying: "Nothing of what was reported is true, but who will belive me? I had to read the news on the
internet. I have heard nothing from any offcial body. I deny any involvement."
Rabobank's temporary team director, Henry van der Aat told 'De Telegraaf': "Officially we are not informed, so I can't
do much. We know the blood profiles of our riders and they were always normal."
As yesterdays news is based on an ARD report its interesting that ARD is planning to continue live broadcasting biathlon and
cros-country skiing. An ARD programm director said that ARD will "respect the presumption of innocense."