The operation Aderlass remains the cycling world touch. After earlier in the season, the Slovenian rider Kristijan Koren of Bahrain Merida provisionally suspended was because of possible involvement in the case, is now also the role of Milan Eržen examined. That confirmed the UCI to Cyclingnews. The Slovenian Eržen is the general manager of Bahrain Merida, but also a former companion of his countryman and top favourite in the Giro portrait of primož Roglic.
In the so-called ‘operation Aderlass” is the German doctor Mark Schmidt the central figure. That was the end of February, picked up in his cabinet in the German Erfurt. He would be a bloeddopingnetwerk have set up with 21 athletes from eight countries and five sports are involved. The bomb burst in the cross-country skiing but also a former topspurter Alessandro Petacchi would be one of them. There is also an investigation against the Slovenian former rider Borut Bozic. That last one is sports director at Bahrain Merida.
Also the role of the general manager of the team, Milan Eržen, by the UCI investigated. Eržen is considered the godfather of the Slovenian cycling and the UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews that since 2015 ‘to closely observe the activities of various Slovenian individuals, including riders, support personnel of the riders and teammanagementpersoneel for their potential role in a number of different studies, even before surgery Aderlass exist’.
Bad news for Bahrain Merida and Roglic
That is all bad news for Bahrain Merida, the team that Eržen founded for prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain. But also the name of a portrait of primož Roglic, the current winner in this Giro, is linked to Eržen. Roglic reed between 2013 and 2015, after all, for the Adria Mobil Continental team Eržen, for he to the current Jumbo-Visma moved.
‘All the implications for my involvement in Aderlass are absolutely untrue and unfounded, ” was the only response from Eržen.