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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 15:10 GMT
Mayer mires Austria's Games
By Anna Thompson
BBC Sport at the Winter Olympics

Austrian ski legend Franz Klammer
Ski legend Klammer would rather talk about Austria's successes
Ski legend Franz Klammer believes the drugs furore surrounding the Austrian biathlon and cross-country team is casting a shadow over the whole squad.

Headlines at home are full of the story instead of celebrating Austria's wins.

Klammer, who won the Olympic downhill 30 years ago, told BBC Sport: "It is very unpleasant to hear and it brings a shadow over the rest of the team."

The saga started when police raided the team on Saturday after a tip-off that banned coach Walter Mayer was there.

The disgraced Mayer was banned from the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics for doping offences at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

He fled Turin to avoid the police raids and was later arrested in bizarre circumstances after crashing his car into a police road block in southern Austria.

They had exactly this sort of scandal last Olympics - for the same thing to be happening with the same people is beyond understanding
Franz Klammer
The 48-year-old coach has since admitted that this was an attempt to commit suicide.

Two cross-country skiers also fled from Italy to Austria and have been kicked off the team, although the results of urine tests have not yet been revealed.

Klammer, a five-time World Cup winner who is now a Visa mentor to young Olympians, added: "This involves a few individuals, not most of the cross-country team. That much I know.

"But I am not happy about it and it is a big shame.

"They had exactly this sort of scandal last Olympics and now for the same thing to be happening with the same people is just beyond understanding."

Klammer, whose moment of Olympic glory came in Austria at Innsbruck, said the Mayer affair was particularly galling as the Austrian squad was having its best ever Games.

Austria has won a record 19 medals so far, including eight golds.


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