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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 10:10 GMT
Skiers lose Olympic ban appeals
Tauber was one of the skiers who lost the ban appeal
Tauber was one of the skiers who lost the ban appeal
Three Austrian cross-country skiers have had their appeals against lifetime Olympic bans for doping dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Cas upheld the International Olympic Committee bans for Martin Tauber, Johannes Eder and Jurgen Pinter.

But it did reduce the penalty against a fourth skier - Roland Diethart - to a four-year ban.

Doping equipment was seized by Italian police during the 2006 Olympics and the Austrian OC was fined 500,000.

Diethart had only joined the team a day before the police search and was seen as an "assister" and not a "prime mover" which was why his appeal was reduced.

Cas said the athletes were guilty of "possession of a prohibited method" and "complicity in anti-doping rules violations."

It was the first time the IOC had disqualified athletes for doping violations without positive tests, and they were the first athletes to be banned for life by the IOC.

Tauber, Eder and Diethart were also suspended for two years by the International Ski Federation and stripped of their results and any prize money won since 16 February 2006.

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