IOC confident in success of anti-doping program

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2014 at 9:16 am •  Published: February 23, 2014
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"The athlete himself confessed that he is the only one who did that and he takes all the responsibility on himself," Stoss said.

Austria's sports director for cross-country, Markus Gandler, said the "team is broken" and called Duerr's actions a matter of "heavy doping."

"This should be punished," Gandler said. "I called him a 'dream guy' two days ago. What should I call him now?"

The 26-year-old Duerr has been the leading athlete in a new generation of cross-country skiers attempting to rebuild the sport's image in Austria. He debuted on the World Cup circuit in 2011 and finished third in this season's overall Tour de Ski standings.

"It's a great pity that after all successful participations of the Austrian team we have had this case of doping," Stoss said. "We will do everything that is needed of us to prevent this in future. But, of course, we can't say there will not be one."

The IOC stores Olympic doping samples for retesting years later when new methods become available. The storage period grows from eight to 10 years under revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code that take effect in 2015.

The issue of doping in Turin will return not long after the Sochi Games end, when the IOC is expected to announce the results of fresh analysis of hundreds of eight-year-old samples.

Acting on a tip, Italian police raided the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team's lodgings in Turin and seized blood doping equipment and other substances. No Austrians tested positive at those games, but the IOC later banned several for life.

The Estonian Olympic Committee said this month that retired cross-country ski champion Kristina Smigun-Vahi, who won two gold medals in Turin, was under investigation by the IOC for a positive test.

The four other athletes thrown out of the Sochi Games for a positive doping tests were: Latvia hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs, Ukraine cross-country skier Marina Lisogor, Italian bobsledder William Frullani, and biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle of Germany. As a cross-country skier, Sachenbacher-Stehle won gold medals in team events at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman said in an email he could not comment on the cases until the body's monitoring team in Sochi completed its report.

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AP Sports Writers Stephen Wilson in Sochi and Eric Willemsen in Krasnaya Polyana contributed to this report.

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