Italian police find doping equipment in raid on Austria's biathletes

Italian police say they found equipment which can be used in blood doping in a raid on Austria's Olympic biathletes.

The banned coach whose presence in Turin sparked the raid was later reported to have been involved in a car crash after a police chase in Austria.

In another development, the head of the International Biathlon Federation claimed documents confirming a positive pre-Games drugs test were missing.

Anders Besseberg said: "I have simply been told that documents were stolen."

World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) president Dick Pound said he was not aware of any theft.

Italian police raided the Austrian biathlon and cross country team's lodgings after a Wada tip-off that disgraced Austrian nordic coach Walter Mayer was in contact with the team in Turin.

Mayer was banned from the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for blood doping offences at the 2002 event in Salt Lake City.

Police said in a statement that equipment including syringes was found in their search and was being sent for examination.

Austrian Olympic chiefs have complained to the IOC about the raid, but admitted Mayer had stayed with their biathletes in Italy.

Mayer was involved in a bizarre chase in Austria on Sunday when he tried to evade police and ended up crashing his car into a roadblock they had set up.

Police said he was taken into protective custody. It is unclear whether he will face criminal charges, reports BBC news.


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