Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hoffmann: No Dope

The Austrian doping scandal is widening, with cyclists, triathletes, and now cross-country skiers implicated - if only by hearsay. Today, three more as-yet unnamed people were arrested under Austrian anti-doping law, and Christian Hoffmann was asked if he had any kind of affiliation with Stefan Matschiner, the coach at the center of the affair:

... Hoffmann, who is still active, declared: "I was in touch with Matschiner just once. Years ago, I was looking for a sponsor – that’s when I contacted him. That’s it. I have never been supplied with doping substances. I disassociate myself from that." Hoffmann added he regarded the allegations as "absolutely insane."
In this context, "absolutely insane" must be code for "mostly circumstantial, but not exactly exonerating," given the apparent extent of this scandal (1,000 bags of plasma were reportedly seized at the Humanplasma lab in Vienna), his narrow escape from the 2006 Torino scandal which tripped up several of his teammates, and his remarkable out-of-the-blue racing performances.


Colin R said...

I think the first time I heard someone say they thought Hoffman was dirty was like... 2003.

At this point I think it's the most commonly held suspicion in North America.

Christopher Tassava said...

Don't forget that the Austrian men came from nowhere to win the relay at the home-snow Worlds at Ramsau in 1999. The anchor was Mr. Hoffmann.

Nathan Schultz said...

Or the 2002 blood bags found by the cleaning crew. Somehow the only Austrians who were doping were the guys finishing in the 30's. Not Botvinov. Not hoffman.

Anonymous said...

I loved your podcast from last year so will you make a new one this year ?