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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006, 20:37 GMT
Austrian athletes test negative
IOC director of communications Giselle Davies
Davies confirmed all the urine tests came back negative
Doping tests carried out on 10 Austrian athletes have proved negative, says the International Olympic Committee.

The biathlon and cross-country skiing teams were investigated after a police raid on team lodgings found blood transfusion equipment.

"The samples did not show up any adverse findings," said IOC director of communications, Giselle Davies.

But only urine samples have been tested so far and the IOC says the athletes will now be subject to blood tests.

IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said none of the tests showed any sign of any banned stimulants, anabolic steroids or the blood-boosting drug EPO, but that this did not necessarily mean the story was over.

The doping controls of Saturday night and their ensuing results are only one element in what is undoubtedly an affair which goes far wider
IOC's Giselle Davies

"The laboratory is satisfied with the quality of the analyses and they have found them negative and fully conclusive," he said.

"We wish to avoid the image of conducting some sort of witchhunt here, but we have reason to follow up a certain number of cases here".

The IOC has set up a disciplinary commission comprising of vice-president Thomas Bach and executive board members Denis Oswald and Sergey Bubka to investigate whether the Austrians broke anti-doping rules during the Games.

They could punish the Austrians based on evidence found in the police raids and other circumstantial evidence.

"The IOC would like to stress that the doping controls of Saturday night and their ensuing results are only one element in what is undoubtedly an affair which goes far wider," added Davies.

"The IOC takes this affair very seriously and is determined to do everything within its powers to bring full clarity."

The team's premises were raided after anti-doping authorities discovered that banned coach Walter Mayer was with the team.

Mayer was banned from the Olympics after allegations of blood doping at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

"It's a good result for us. All tests were negative," said Austrian Olympic Committee president Leo Wallner.

Peter Schroecksnader, president of the Austrian Ski Federation, said he was glad he had been proved right in backing his team.

"When you take blood and urine samples at 11 at night you're not looking for instruments, you are looking for doping in the blood. That has proved negative," he said.

"I am happy because it proves I was right to trust my athletes."

Austrian ski team sports director Markus Gandler said the investigation had affected Austrian chances in two Nordic relays because the raids deprived skiers of sleep before their events.


IOC denies Austria ban decision
24 Feb 06 |  Winter Olympics
Austrian anger over drugs raids
19 Feb 06 |  Winter Olympics

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