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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Austria fined for Olympic doping
Wolfgang Perner came fourth in the 10km men's biathlon sprint in Turin
Biathlete Wolfgang Perner is one of the Austrians to receive a ban
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) fined the Austrian Olympic Committee 500,000 for the doping affair at the 2006 Winter Games.

Last month, six Austrian biathlon and cross-country skiers were banned from the Olympics for life.

The IOC made the ruling after an investigation into alleged blood doping at the Turin Games.

The fine comes at a crucial time for the city of Salzburg, which is bidding to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The IOC will decide the host on 4 July, with South Korea's Pyeongchang and Russia's Sochi also in the running.

An IOC statement said the Austrian Olympic Committee was suspended "from receiving or applying for any grants or subsidies, whether direct or indirect, from the IOC in the amount of $1m [500,000]".

The athletes were found guilty of possession of doping equipment and collaboration after Italian police and doping testers raided the Austrian biathlon and cross-country skiing team headquarters in Turin.

It is almost impossible that these athletes did not know what was happening

IOC vice president Thomas Bach

The raids were sparked by the presence of banned Austria coach Walter Mayer at the athletes' living quarters.

Mayer fled Turin before crashing his car across the border in Austria and has since been cleared of any wrong-doing by the Austrian ski federation.

While none of the athletes tested positive, the IOC banned them from competing in any future Olympics following violations of its anti-doping rules.

A subsequent decision by the Austrian skiing federation to include some of the banned athletes in squads for international competitions other than the Olympics enraged the IOC.

"This shows the IOC's determination to fight doping with zero tolerance," said IOC vice president Thomas Bach when the bans were handed out.

"I think the IOC has taken an important step in the fight against doping."

Although the IOC did not reveal the names of the athletes concerned, Austrian Olympic Committee general secretary Heinz Jungwirth said they were biathletes Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottmann and cross-country skiers Martin Tauber, Juergen Pinter, Johannes Eder and Roland Diethart.

"The Italian report showed very clearly that a great quantity of medical equipment had been seized in this apartment used by athletes," added Bach.

"This goes from saline solution, syringes, bags for storing blood and many other things.

"Some athletes gave testimony in writing, some did not. In evaluating all this and the explanations, we came to the conclusion that these athletes committed a violation of the anti-doping rules by possessing medical devices and material.

"This possession alone was enough to constitute an offence, a violation of the code.

"You have to imagine athletes living in apartments during the Games surrounded by blood bags and syringes. All these devices means it is almost impossible that these athletes did not know what was happening."

The six athletes have also had their results in Turin annulled while charges against a seventh athlete, cross country skier Christian Hofmann, were dismissed.

Turin doping probe moves forward
16 Jan 07 |  Winter Sports
Austrians clear coach of doping
19 Apr 06 |  Winter Sports
Austrian coach sues Rogge & Pound
31 Mar 06 |  Winter Sports
Austrian athletes test negative
25 Feb 06 |  Winter Sports
IOC denies Austria ban decision
24 Feb 06 |  Winter Sports
Mayer mires Austria's Games
22 Feb 06 |  Winter Sports
Austrian anger over drugs raids
19 Feb 06 |  Winter Sports
Pound suspects skiers were doping
16 Feb 06 |  Winter Sports
Austrian ski coach banned
13 May 03 |  Other Sport...


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