KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr has been kicked out of the Sochi Games after testing positive for the blood booster EPO on Sunday. It is the fifth doping case - and most serious so far - at the Olympics.
Austrian Olympic Committee President Karl Stoss says the team was "shocked" by what happened, adding Duerr was tested 14 times before this
season, all the results negative.
At the airport in Sochi, Duerr told Austrian TV he can "only apologize to
everyone." "So many people have been doing all they could to help me and now I've disappointed them with my
silliness," he said, adding "This is the worst thing I've done in my life. This is very, very tough. You can't explain this in three sentences."
EPO is used to boost red blood cells that carry oxygen to the muscles, increasing stamina and endurance. The four other cases involved minor stimulants that can be found in food supplements.
The four other doping cases involved minor stimulants that can be found in food supplements. They were: Latvian hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs, Ukrainian cross-country skier Marina Lisogor, German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani.
None of the five athletes won medals in Sochi.
26-year-old Duerr has been the leading athlete in a new generation of cross-country skiers attempting to rebuild the sport's image in Austria.
The EPO test comes after an Olympics in which the Austrians won 17 medals going into the final day.
The IOC is conducting 2,453 drug tests in Sochi, a record for the Winter Games.
The Italian Olympic Committee told the AP it believed Italian bobsledder William Frullani bought the stimulant dimetylpentylamine - for which he tested positive - on the Internet from the United States since it is not available in Italy.
Posted by Ronnie Loaiza