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Austrian Cross Country skiers sanctioned for Torino doping violations

Mon, Nov  26, 2007 - By FIS

Oberhofen. The FIS Doping Panel has issued its decisions in the cases of Austrian Cross-Country skiers Roland Diethard, Johannes Eder, and Martin Tauber, who were found to have committed anti-doping rule violations upon the occasion of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino 2006.

The allegations raised against the athlete Juergen Pinter are dismissed since they were not found to meet the standard of proof required to sanction the athlete according to the FIS Anti-Doping Rules. However, the Panel reserves the right to re-consider this case in the event the continuing investigations regarding the blood residues found in the tubing used by the athlete in the course of injecting Thiagamma confirm that the needles and tubing found in his possession were used for the purpose of withdrawing or injecting blood.

In April 2006, the IOC Executive Board disqualified the above athletes from the events in which they competed at the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino and declared the athletes permanently ineligible for all future Olympic Games in any capacity. Additionally, the IOC transferred the files to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to consider whether it should take any further action within its own competence.

The hearings of the four athletes by the FIS Doping Panel took place on 17th and 18th September 2007. Following the hearings and a thorough review of the cases, the FIS Doping Panel has found that Roland Diethard, Johannes Eder and Martin Tauber committed violations against the FIS Anti-Doping Rules. These athletes have been suspended according to the provisions of the FIS Anti-Doping Rules for two years, commencing from the date of the decisions, namely from 22nd November 2007 until 21st November 2009. All results achieved by the athletes in competition since February 18th, 2006 are disqualified and all medals, points and prizes received in such competition are forfeited.

The FIS Doping Panel found that Roland Diethard and Martin Tauber committed an anti-doping rule violation contrary to Article 2.6 of the FIS Anti-Doping Rules (Possession of Prohibited Substances and Methods). In the case of Johannes Eder, the FIS Doping Panel found that the athlete committed an anti-doping rule violation contrary to Article 2.2 (Use or Attempted Use of a Prohibited Substance or Method) and Article 2.6 (Possession of Prohibited Substances and Methods) of the FIS Anti-Doping Rules.

The decisions of the FIS Doping Panel may be appealed within 21 days to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The proceedings by the International Ski Federation related to these cases are independent of the proceedings by the International Olympic Committee. Appeals by all four athletes against the decisions of the IOC Executive Board are currently in review by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). For more information, please visit www.tas-cas.org. Decisions of the CAS are final and cannot be appealed.

Regarding the decision of the IOC Executive Board dated 24th May 2007 relating to the Austrian Olympic Committee and its officials at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, the proceedings of the FIS Doping Panel are still underway.