The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will ask Italian authorities to speed up a criminal investigation of Austrian skiers and coaches suspected of doping during this year's Turin Olympics.

The IOC wants to wrap up the case before the winter sport season's big events get underway but has been unable to rule on it because the investigation in Italy has yet to be completed.

In a statement late on Monday, the IOC said 'The Disciplinary Commission is eagerly awaiting the final report in order to make a full analysis of the issue, draw conclusions and take action.'

'The IOC will therefore make a request to the Italian authorities that the process be fast-tracked in order that the issue may be resolved before the major competitions of the winter sport season commence.'

The presence of banned coach Walter Mayer at the Austrian team's accommodation prompted the IOC to launch co-ordinated raids with the Italian police on the country's cross-country skiing and biathlon teams during February's Turin Olympics. Ten Austrian athletes were tested for signs of doping but were found to be clean.

Mayer fled the scene before crashing his car across the border in Austria. He has since sued IOC president Jacques Rogge for defamation. Sources said last week Mayer is under pressure to withdraw his lawsuit.

To date the IOC has only received a preliminary report from Italy, which it says is not enough for any action.

Rogge told reporters at the end of an IOC Executive Board meeting in Kuwait last week that he was determined to get to the bottom of the case.

Rogge said: 'I am absolutely convinced that yes, we will have a complete report that will be very comprehensive. When, I cannot tell you. It might take another period before we get there but we will get there, there is no doubt about it.'