Italian court clears some Austrian Ski Federation leaders, others guilty in 2006 doping scandal
Two Austrian Ski Federation officials have been cleared by an Italian court after being accused of involvement in a blood doping controversy at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.
Austrian Ski Federation president Peter Schroecksnadel and biathlon chief Markus Gandler were both exonerated Friday (July 6) following a court hearing in Susa, Italy. "The trial has shown that many accusations against Austria Ski Federation representatives were false," said the Austria Federation.
"The federation has acted correctly from the beginning and this has now been confirmed by the court," said Schroecksnadel after the announcement.
In 2006, Italian police found doping products and paraphernalia during a raid of the Austrian biathlon and cross-country housing. As a result, the IOC handed down lifelong bans to four of the accused athletes. The IOC also fined the Austrian Olympic Committee $1 million for its part in failing to prevent the violations.
Former Austrian cross-country coach Walter Mayer, who was banned from the Torino Games for his involvement in a 2002 doping scandal but was reported being seen in the area of the 2006 Games, was also found innocent. Former team doctor Peter Baumgartl and cross-country athletes Martin Tauber and Jurgen Pinter were also cleared. Suspensions and fines were dealt to three others. Former cross-country coach Emil Hoch faces a 20-month suspension and $32,000 in fines. Biathlete and 2002 bronze medalist Wolfgang Perner got an 18-month suspension and $28,000 in fines and former biathlon world champion Wolfgang Rottmann was handed 16 months and $25,000 in fines. Perner and Rottmann plan to appeal the verdict.
Some information for this story came from the Associated Press.
Image of Schroecksnadel by Gepa.