On Wednesday, the news was released as a bomb in the city of Seefeld in the World Cup. Five practitioners were arrested by the German and Austrian police, suspected of doping, shortly before the start of the 15 kilometers.
He quickly became known as the two Austrian cross-country skiers Max Hauke (26) and Dominik Baldauf (26).
When neither the top runner Aleksej Poltaranin started the 15 kilometers, the rumors began to buzz.
Was the former medalist one of the prisoners?
It ended up being the vote. On Thursday morning, it was confirmed that Poltaranin is arrested, as well as the two Estonian runners Karel Tammjärv and Andreas Veerpalu.
At night, the shocker came from Poltaranin:
He admits that he is doing blood doping.
The same goes for the two Austrian runners.
The links between the imprisoned runners, who are from different nations, are not entirely obvious. But looking more closely, it turns out that there are some clear links.
It's about common trainers, a great running backslider and a controversial sports doctor.
Father and coach
Poltaranin's coach is named Matti Alaver. Previously, he trained the former Estonian runner Andrus Veerpalu. Veerpalu has gained a lot in its heyday. Here he poses with King Harald in Holmenkollen:
And precisely Veerpalu is today ski tests and ski skiers for Poltaranin, who also stated that Veerpalu is one of his important sparring partners when it comes to training.
Not only that: Veerpalu is also the father of one of the other cross-country skiers who are now arrested and suspected, ie Andreas Veerpalu.
In January 2011, Veerpalu senior raised a positive doping test. It showed high levels of growth hormones. He was banned for three years, but then decided to put up.
Alaver was his coach for several years. He went on to new jobs and eventually ended up as coach for Poltaranin.
Veerpalu, however, received the verdict against him a few years later. The procedural defect and the uncertainty surrounding the threshold values were the cause.
It is worth mentioning that Poltaranin's wife, Olga Poltaranina, is also being investigated for doping.
She is one of Kazakhstan's nine biathletes that the International Biathlon Association has decided to ban this fall on suspicion of doping.
Police said at Wednesday's press conference that it has been monitoring several people for a long time.
Suspect doctors must have been associated with the same doctor, and according to various media, this is the German Mark Schmidt.
The runners should have received help for alleged doping in this house near the hotel where the Austrians lived:
Schmidt himself was arrested in his home town of Erfurt this week. In his clinic, the police made several convulsions.
– This network has been around the world for several years and there are probably more professionals involved. It was amazing to find the illegal laboratory and pockets of blood and turn it up to that point, said researcher Dieter Csefan.
Schmidt is a well-known sports doctor in his home country. In a medical journal, he said in 2014 that he had 50-60 athletes in practice. All from swimmers, handball players, soccer players and others.
But he is also controversial. He has been involved in doping cases.
In 2008, cyclist Bernhard Kohl said Schmidt helped him baptize, but the doctor was never convicted.
"That could be the beginning of something much bigger and could include a lot of sports. The doctor who is most important for this has operated in the international top cycling environment for several years. It will be an exciting near future in this area, says renowned Norwegian doping hunter Inggard Lereim.
Must have been taken with a needle in the arm
On Tuesday night, police decided they had completed the search. They were ready to attack and entered the hotel where the Austrian corridors lived.
One of the runners should have taken the peach while sitting with a needle in his arm in full swing, giving himself a blood transfusion, police said.
One of his teammates, Luis Stadlober, says he was lying on the bed and relaxed when suddenly he heard a violent mutiny downstairs.
"This is the worst thing that can happen to Austrian cross-country skiing and us being clean. This reduces interest. I'm missing words. There are two idiots who did, says Stadlober, that he is not suspected of doping.
It is unknown where and when the Estonian runners and Poltaranin were arrested.
The last two prisons will be "members of criminal organizations" and these were arrested in Seefeld.
Furious cross-country skiers
The case has been the main topic of conversation in Seefeld in recent days. Several cross country skiers express that they are extremely disappointed with what they have been told.
Andrew Musgrave, from Britain, writes on Twitter that all his respect is gone.
NRK specialist Fredrik Aukland has been following cross country sports for several years.
"If that comes out, and there was blood doping, then it's such a serious breach that it's hard to understand that this can happen in 2019," says Aukland.
No one has been convicted in this case, but the already grim history of Austrian cross-country sports has, in any case, received a new chapter.
It dates back many years back in time. During the 2002 Olympics, Marc Mayer and Achim Walcher had positive results.
During the 2006 Olympics, Roland Diethard, Johannes Eder and Martin Tauber saw their blood doping.
During the Sochi Olympics, eight years later, Johannes Dürr was taken for use by the EPO during the Games. This winter he excelled with his story in a German documentary.
After Dürr was taken, it gradually emerged that one of his best friends, Harald Wurm, had been baptized.
Former U23 world champion Wurm has put all the cards on the table and admitted that he used illegal funds during his career. He was banished and left.