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Doping scandal hits Bahrain bike team

A doping scandal is swirling around the Bahrain-Merida professional cycling team, one of the main ‘soft power’ initiatives championed by high-flying Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, whom the team likes to describe as its “number one supporter”. Bahrain-Merida rider Kristijan Koren and sports director Borut Božic were suspended by the sport’s governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on 15 May as part of the Operation Aderlass enquiry into blood doping.

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