Sports of The Times: At the Heart of a Vast Doping Network, an Alias

The Business

In late December 2015, about four months after the Swiss authorities had flagged the shipments from Thomas Mann, Al Jazeera released an explosive documentary called “The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers.” A retired professional hurdler from Britain had worked with the news organization to penetrate the world of illicit sports doping while carrying a hidden camera.

An intriguing name was tucked into the Al Jazeera documentary. Underground chemists spoke with reverence of a Svengali who produced and sold them high-quality sports drugs. His name was Thomas Mann.

A chemist explained in the documentary how fastidious he had to be when ordering performance-enhancing drugs from Mann: “If you even use the wrong language with him, saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to use this,’ right away, boom, you’d be kicked off.”

Investigators pulled at Thomas Mann’s internet veil and found that he was using an alias, a name perhaps borrowed from the famous German novelist. He called his business Authentiquevie (French for “authentic life”); another forum, DatBTrue, provided a menu of his peptides and hormones, accompanied by detailed explanations of each drug….

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