German court starts trial against alleged doping mastermind Mark S

German sports physician Mark S appeared in court in Munich on Wednesday, at the start of one of the country’s largest doping trials to date.

The doctor, who stands trial with four alleged accomplices, was detained in February last year following raids in his home in Erfurt, Germany, and at the Nordic skiing world championships in Seefeld, Austria.

The prosecution has charged the 42-year-old doctor with having administered blood doping to various athletes or having helped them use illicit doping methods. He is also charged with grievous injury.

Investigators have linked 23 athletes to the alleged doping operation so far, mainly winter sports athletes and cyclists.

Austrian judges have handed down suspended sentences against several athletes.

The Munich court has scheduled 26 trial days until late December, to allow for testimony from many former athletes.

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