A Swiss doctor is accused of assisting with doping

The New Züricher Zeitung reported that a sports medicine doctor in Bern, Switzerland was filmed with a hidden camera administering testosterone to a young athlete. The newspaper pointed in their story to the combined research of the Swiss magazine Republik and the German TV network ARD, but according to the online portal Republik the British newspaper Sunday Times and the Swedish network SVT were also involved in the combined investigative reporting effort.

A young man was sent to the doctor in Bern with the story that he is a cross country skier and is looking to get faster, and according to Republik this man was carrying a hidden camera, and the conversation was recorded.

Republik shared some of these purported conversations between the athlete and the doctor and below are a few excerpts from those conversations.

The doctor had taken blood during the first visit, and the conversation below reportedly took place during the second visit.

Doctor: Let us look at the blood. (...) It all looks good. Nothing suspicious. What we always discuss in sports medicine is hemoglobin and hematocrit. At 14.9 it is good. Highly normal. Hematocrit 44 is very good. One can see that nothing was manipulated. Many endurance athletes lift it to 50 and that one to 17.5. Because 17.5 is the limit. That would help.

Athlete: How can we raise it?

Doctor: Only EPO. EPO or testosterone. (...) That would surely add a performance boost.

Athlete: I just do not know if they are testing at the competition, but...

Doctor: That does not matter. The chance that you have to piss is maybe 1:100,000. And if you piss here in Switzerland and the "testo" is found, nothing will happen. You might have to pay a 100 Swiss Frank fee and you then can't start for the a year in that sport with your federation. But there are no legal consequences in Switzerland. We are relatively relaxed in that regard. The problem is: the whole pharma market runs through us. And they do want to sell their stuff.

Republik also talked to Matthias Kamber, the head of Swiss Antidoping, and showed him the hidden camera video. Kamber however appeared less casual than the doctor and is quoted as saying "This is clearly a case for the state attorney. And folks who prescribe, share or distribute doping may face up to 3 years in prison."

According to Republik, this doctor has been under suspicion for many years now, but there has been no proof. And the doctor is apparently also an avid athlete, who has placed in a top spot in big international competition. The Neue Züricher Zeitung referred to him as a triathlete.

In 2008 the Austrian doctor Andreas Zoubek made headlines along the same lines and eventually many folks also fell in his wake. Zoubek also was a triathlete and had the nickname Irondoc.

Republik and Neue Züricher Zeitung reached out to the Swiss doctor with those allegations and the details of the recording but the doctor who initially responded to Neue Züricher Zeitung has now apparently stopped all communication.

Link to Republik here
Link to Neue Züricher Zeitung here