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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Austrian ski coach banned
An Austrian ski coach has been banned from training for life after being found guilty of blood doping.

Walter Mayer, the cross-county and biathlon ski team coach, has been banned by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Mayer's son, Marc, and Achim Walner - both cross-country skiers - have been banned from all competition until March 2005.

The sanctions come after the discovery of blood transfusion equipment in a chalet during the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City last year.

The Austrian Ski Federation (OeSV) said it would appeal against Walter Mayer's ban.

The sanction imposed by the FIS is inappropriate and contestable
OeSV president Peter Schroecksnadel

The trio, along with German chiropractor Volker Mueller, were initially penalised by the International Olympic Committe in May 2002 after a three-month investigation in which both skiers had their results in Salt Lake City removed from the records.

An appeal was lodged in July 2002 claiming the blood treatments were used as therapeutic remedy rather than being used to enhance performance.

But in March the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne upheld the IOC's initial findings that the methods constituted blood doping.

However it ruled Mueller had not committed a doping offence, and changed his suspension to a strong warning as to his future conduct.

OeSV president Peter Schroecksnadel said on Tuesday, three reports presented to CAS showed the implemented therapy by Mayer was not a performance-enhancing measure.

He added: "For that reason the sanction imposed by the FIS is inappropriate and contestable."




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