Andreas Klöden and Matthias Kessler are said to have received blood transfusions at the Freiburg University Clinic after the start of the 2006 Tour de France, along with Patrik Sinkewitz. The German news magazine Spiegel reported Saturday that the independent commission looking into organized doping at Team T-Mobile/Telekom reached this conclusion in its not-yet released report.
The report further stated that doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid set up and operated a program of illegal doping for the German team from 1995 to at least 2006. The doctors have admitted to providing doping up until 1999, which put them under the statute of limitations.
Klöden and Kessler are said to have ridden with Sinkewitz and his girlfriend to the Clinic on the evening of July 2, 2006, the evening of the first stage of the Tour de France in Strasbourg. All three are said to have received blood transfusions. While other reports have indicated the possibility of all seven T-Mobile riders participating, the magazine only mentioned the three German riders.
Klöden's current Team Astana told Cyclingnews that it had no comment. He has previously denied the charges. Kessler, who is serving a two-year suspension for testosterone doping. He tested positive in April 2007 while riding for Team Astana, and has consistently denied any charges of doping.
Sinkewitz subsequently tested positive for testosterone before the Tour de France 2007. He was given only a one-year suspension for cooperating with investigators and now rides for the Czech Continental team PSK Whirlpool.
On June 30, the team suspended Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage for their alleged involvement in Operación Puerto, which also included illegal blood transfusions.
According to the report, the doctors did not explain to the riders the possible side effects of the doping products. For example, on July 2, when Sinkewitz is said to have driven from the Tour de France to Freiburg, there were problems with the first bag of blood that the doctors attempted to transfuse into him. Schmid allegedly got a second bag, which was also full of clots and did not flow properly.
"Apparently the blood was either bacterially infected or improperly stored," the magazine stated. However, Schmid did not inform Sinkewitz of that, thus acting "especially irresponsible" concerning the "risk of worst complications" such as shock or a lung embolism.
Schmid and Heinrich are said to have falsified medical certificate to obtain doping products. For example, Schmid is supposed to have once falsely diagnosed Sinkewitz with a knee tendon inflammation, solely in order to a give him an official excuse to take cortisone.
When the riders wanted more products, they could just send a text message or e-mail to the doctors, using a code system. For example, EPO was referred to as "Luft" (air).
The Commission concluded that Schmid and Heinrich acted alone at the Clinic. Both doctors were fired by the Clinic in 2007 and are the subject of various investigations.
The magazine reported that the 64-page report was finished on April 16 and should be published "shortly", pending the resolution of open legal questions.