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Austrian anti-doping agency to act against athletes, trainers

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Apr. 19, 2010

Agence France Presse

The Austrian anti-doping watchdog NADA said Monday it would initiate procedures against a number of athletes and trainers for their alleged involvement with a controversial blood laboratory in Vienna.

“In consultation with WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency), we will launch proceedings against all athletes and trainers named in the police investigation into (Vienna laboratory) Humanplasma,” said the head of Austria’s National Anti-Doping Agency NADA, Andreas Schwab.

The Humanplasma lab has confirmed that it had taken blood from some 30 athletes between 2003 and 2006, but denied involvement in doping.

NADA did not name the athletes it would probe, saying only that their names would be announced in the coming weeks, depending on the weight and credibility of the evidence against them.

Only last month Humanplasma hit back at claims that it stood at the center of a massive doping network, naming instead several well-known coaches for the first time.

Banned Austrian biathlon and cross-country coach Walter Mayer, Stefan Matschiner, the former manager of disgraced cyclist Bernhard Kohl, and Martin Kessler, a rowing coach, were alleged to be at the heart of the doping network that used Humanplasma’s facilities between 2003 and 2006, according to a statement issued by the laboratory.

“Between late 2003 and early 2006, these three persons— and only these — arranged for about 30 athletes in total to have blood samples taken,” it said.

Mayer, Matschiner and Kessler have long been linked to doping irregularities in Austria — Mayer was also banned from participating in future Olympics after a scandal at the 2006 Turin Games.

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