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by Dane Cash
July 23, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
Georg Preidler was fined and given a one-year suspended sentence after an Austrian court found him guilty of sporting fraud.
The 30-year-old Austrian, who last raced for Groupama-FDJ, received a four-year ban from the UCI after admitting to his involvement in the blood doping ring at the center of the Operation Aderlass scandal.
News of Preidler’s involvement emerged in early 2019. He confessed to having had blood extracted, although he claimed that he did not have the blood re-infused, and he also denied having used performing enhancing substances.
“My decision to do blood doping was stupid and fundamentally wrong,” he was reported as having said in January of 2019. “I bitterly regret it.”
Preidler was handed a ban in June of last year on the same day as Stefan Denifl, who was also implicated in the Operation Aderlass scandal.
In September, Preidler was formally charged with sports fraud. He was accused of both blood doping and taking growth hormone over a two year period (during which he rode for Sunweb and then Groupama-FDJ), and of thereby defrauding teams, races, and sponsors of hundreds of thousands of euros.
On Wednesday, the court delivered a verdict, fining him €2,880 and handing him a suspended sentence of 12 months.
The sentence remains subject to appeal.