Six Austrians banned for life from Olympics

26th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 April 2007, Beijing (dpa) - Six Austrian athletes have been banned for life from the Olympics for their role in a doping affair at the 2006 Turin Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday. IOC president Jacques Rogge said there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the athletes were engaged in an organised cheating scheme which warranted such tough sanctions. The six were identified as biathletes Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottmann, and cross-country skiers Martin Tauber, J

26 April 2007

Beijing (dpa) - Six Austrian athletes have been banned for life from the Olympics for their role in a doping affair at the 2006 Turin Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the athletes were engaged in an organised cheating scheme which warranted such tough sanctions.

The six were identified as biathletes Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottmann, and cross-country skiers Martin Tauber, Juergen Pinter, Johannes Eder and Roland Diethart, had their Turin results nullified and were banned by the IOC executive board from future Games.

None of the six will ever be allowed accreditation for Olympic Games again, neither as athlete nor as coach, official or in another function.

It was the first time that the IOC banned athletes from future Games without a positive doping test, but on other evidence. Twen athletes were taken to doping tests as the affair broke, but they all tested negative.

"The severity of the sanctions is motivated by the fact that these cases go further than straightforward possession of prohibited substances and methods and are clear instances where a network, including athletes, colluded to manipulate blood and to engage into doping practices," the IOC said.

The IOC disciplinary commission chaired by German Thomas Bach recommended these sanctions, which were approved by the executive board, after being given documents from Italian criminal investigators.

Italian police raided the lodgings of Austria's cross-country and biathlon teams during the Turin Games on February 18, 2006, seizing alleged doping substances and equipment.

The raid came in connection with the presence of former Austrian coach Walter Mayer, who was implicated in a blood-doping case at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and banned by the IOC from the Turin Olympics.

Mayer fled from Italy, and so did other athletes and coaches, fearing arrest in Italy which has strict anti-doping state laws.

Rottmann and Perner announced their retirement a few days later, while the others can now also face sanctions from the ruling ski body FIS, the IOC said. 

The case of a seventh athlete, cross-country skier Christian Hoffmann, was also referred to FIS after he escaped IOC sanctions because an illness prevented him from competing in Turin.

DPA

Subject: German news

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