Austrian XC skier shuns anti-doping prosecutor


Austrian cross-country skier Martin Tauber refused to answer questions from an Italian anti-doping prosecutor investigating alleged drug use by the Austrian team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
COGNE, Italy — Austrian cross-country skier Martin Tauber refused to answer questions from an Italian anti-doping prosecutor investigating alleged drug use by the Austrian team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
    Tauber and teammate Mikhail Botvinov were met by police after Wednesday’s 15-kilometer World Cup men's cross-country classic race — in which Tauber finished 10th and Botvinov 47th — and taken to Cogne police headquarters for questioning by Raffaele Guariniello.
    But Tauber declined to answer Guariniello on the advice of his lawyer, Paolo Davico Bonino, according to Thursday’s Gazzetta dello Sport and La Stampa newspapers.
    Austria team doctor Ulrich Maeggelle and International Ski Federation World Cup director Jurg Capol were also questioned Wednesday by Guariniello, according to Torino-based La Stampa.
    Tauber told Gazzetta that police also searched his car and the hotel room he was sharing with Botvinov, taking samples of “vitamins” and “asthma drugs certified by FIS.”
    Tauber said he would “return to the magistrates with my lawyer … to clarify once again that I have nothing to do with doping.”
    Bonino said the incident was bizarre because “Tauber was part of a squad of athletes already investigated,” according to Gazzetta.
    Police raided the lodgings of Austria’s cross-country and biathlon teams during the Games in February, seizing alleged doping substances and equipment.
    The raid was triggered by the presence of former Austrian coach Walter Mayer, who was implicated in a blood doping case at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Tauber finished eighth in the 15-kilometer men’s classic and 17th in the 30 km men’s pursuit at the Torino Games. Botvinov won bronze in the men’s 50 km freestyle mass start.

— The Associated Press

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