Ski Coach Sentenced for Drug Violations

Austrian gave skiers EPO in 2006


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The former head of Austria’s Nordic ski team was given a 15-month suspended jail sentence, 12 months of which were suspended, after a court in Vienna found him guilty of trafficking in performance-enhancing drugs. Walter Mayer, 54, who was a coach with the Austrian Ski Federation for 12 years, was prosecuted under a 2008 law that made drug violations criminal offenses. Pending appeal, Mayer will likely spend only a handful of months in jail. The court found that Mayer had sold athletes the blood booster EPO before the Turin Olympic games in 2006. Those Olympics were catastrophic for Austria, which became tangled in a drug scandal that ultimately forced 14 ski officials from the Austrian federation in 2007. Mayer had also been implicated in a doping scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City winter Olympics and was banned from the 2006 and 2010 games. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and plans to appeal his sentence. Mayer says the IOC is out to get him.

Read more at Reuters