- Title: AUSTRIA: SKIING - Olympic Committee take drastic measures over doping affair
- Date: 29th May 2007
- Summary: CESANA SAN SICARIO, ITALY (FILE FEBRUARY 2006) (REUTERS) WIDE OF AUSTRIAN SKIERS' HOUSE CLOSE UP OF 'AUSTRIA SKI TEAM' FLAG ON HOUSE
- Embargoed: 13th June 2007 13:00
- Location: Austria
- Country: Austria
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA7G3TQW7OEJSNGCQVWKFHYCF7P
- Story Text: Austria's Olympic Committee banned 13 skiing staff from the Olympics on Tuesday (May 29, 2007) and pledged tighter controls after pressure from the world governing body IOC over a doping affair at the 2006 Winter Games.
The committee (NOC) also said it would swiftly pay a $1 million fine to the IOC and welcomed the resignation of its vice-president Peter Schroecksnadel, although he remained in his position as the head of Austria's skiing association.
"We, the Austrian Olympic Committee, acknowledge that we did not make certain controls to the extent wished by the IOC, as we trusted our member associations," the NOC's president Leo Wallner said at a news conference in Vienna.
"We can't help but apply stricter measures to our member associations in the future," he said. He reiterated that no link should be made between the doping affair and Austria's bid to host the 2014 Winter Games in Salzburg.
Italian police and doping testers raided the Austrian biathlon and cross-country skiing team headquarters during the 2006 Winter Games in Turin after the appearance of a banned coach, and found blood bags and equipment used for blood doping.
While none of the athletes tested positive, the IOC banned six of them last month from competing in any future Olympics following violations of its anti-doping rules.
Last week, the IOC fined the NOC $1 million and said it had until June 2008 to report on the results of an internal investigation as well as internal changes it has undertaken.
The 13 staffers who will not be accredited in the future include cross country and biathlon manager Markus Gandler as well as doctors, physiotherapists and coaches.
Schroecksnadel, under mounting pressure from the IOC and politicians including Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, eventually resigned from his position as the NOC's vice-president on Tuesday.
However, Schroecksnadel remained defiant in his resignation, saying his main reason was that he no longer trusted the NOC, rather than admitting any wrongdoing.
"There is no basis of mutual trust to the administration of the Austrian Olympic Committee anymore," Schroecksnadel said.
An IOC official told Reuters after Tuesday's ban on ski staff: "The IOC is encouraged by the latest developments which would appear to come in light of the IOC's decision last week.
"We look forward to receiving the official information from the Austrian Olympic Committee."
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