Stefan Denifl receives a prison sentence
Stefan Denifl, who admitted to blood doping after he was implicated in the Operation Aderlass investigation, has received a prison sentence for fraud.
The 33-year-old Austrian has spent the past several months facing trial in Austria on fraud charges. He was accused of doping between 2014 and 2018.
On Tuesday, he was sentenced to two years in prison, with 16 of those 24 total months suspended. Denifl must also pay a fine of €349,000, according to Austrian newspaper Kurier.
Denifl last raced in 2018 with Aqua Blue Sport. He had signed on to join BMC for the following season, but then requested that the contract be dissolved, which it was in December of 2018. In March of 2019, he confessed to doping while being questioned by police in connection with the investigation into the doping ring run by Dr. Mark Schmidt out of Erfurt, Germany. Police had found blood bags belonging to Denifl in the course of their searches.
Following his confession, Denifl received a four-year ban from the UCI.
Once his fraud trial got underway in February of 2020, Denifl further admitted to working with Schmidt, although his defense argued that he had fulfilled his contracts and that his doping had not led to damages for the teams he rode for. Denifl also denied a charge that he had stashed money prior to the trial, a charge for which he was ultimately acquitted.
Tuesday’s decision makes Denifl the first cyclist involved in Operation Aderlass to have been sentenced to prison time. Fellow Austrian Georg Preidler was found guilty of fraud in July of 2020 but was sentenced to probation and fined.