Banned Austrian skiers ready to give DNA samples
Apr 30, 2007 - 3:07:21 PM
Vienna, April 30 - Six Austrian skiers banned for life from the Olympics for their role in a doping affair at the 2006 Turin Winter Games said that they are prepared to provide DNA samples to prove their innocence.
Markus Gandler, sport director for biathlon and cross-country skiers at the Austrian Ski Association, Sunday questioned the investigation and said all the athletes were ready to give DNA samples.
Banned cross-country skier Martin Tauber said: 'I am not going to allow myself to be banned for life from the Olympics because of a haemoglobin measuring device -.'
Tauber said he needed the instrument to control his haemoglobin levels at all times.
In banning the athletes the International Olympic Committee - said there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the athletes were engaged in an organised cheating scheme, which warranted such tough sanctions.
The six banned are Tauber, Wolfgang Perner, Wolfgang Rottmann, Juergen Pinter, Johannes Eder and Roland Diethart, who have had their Turin results nullified as well as being banned from future Games.
It was the first time that the IOC banned athletes from future Games without a positive doping test, but on other evidence.
The IOC disciplinary commission chaired by German Thomas Bach recommended the sanctions after being given documents from Italian criminal investigators.
Italian police raided the lodgings of Austria's cross-country and biathlon teams during the Turin Games Feb 18, 2006, seizing alleged doping substances and equipment.
In a first reaction, Tauber said: 'I didn't do anything wrong. A haemoglobin measurement device was found - because my level is quite high. But it is said nowhere that these things are forbidden.'
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