/ Winter Sports

Further drugs controversy in Turin

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:30

Further drugs controversy in Turin

Walter Mayer, the Austrian at the centre of the Winter Olympic doping scandal, is in hot water after crashing his car into a police road block.

Mayer has been charged with civil disorder after the incident which occurred in southern Austria on Sunday.

The disgraced biathlon coach had fled Turin after Italian police had been told he was with the Austrian team. Mayer was banned from the 2006 and 2010 Games for doping offences at the 2002 event in Salt Lake City.

A tip-off from the World Anti-Doping Agency prompted Italian police to raid the Austrian biathlon and cross country team's lodgings on Saturday, and equipment which could be used for blood doping was discovered.

The incident occurred after police woke Mayer while he was sleeping in his car in the Austrian village of Paternion. He sped off and was pursued before crashing into two unoccupied police vehicles, damaging the cars and slightly injuring a policeman.

Mayer was then taken into custody, where he refused a breath test, before being released out of the back door to avoid the press.

Austrian Olympic chiefs promptly sacked Mayer following news of his arrest.

The Austrians also said that two of the 10 competitors tested following the police raid had been kicked off the team and could be suspended from the next Games too. The decision was taken after the pair, Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottman, returned to Austria without permission following their events.

The results of the Italian blood tests on the Austrians are pending.

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