Feature

Olympians banned for life

The week's news at a glance.

Vienna

The International Olympic Committee last week slapped a rare lifetime ban on six Austrian athletes. The six men, four cross-country skiers and two biathletes, were caught with blood-doping substances in an Italian police raid on their living quarters at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. The IOC said the athletes engaged in a conspiracy to dope and to cover for each other. The Austrian Ski Federation is protesting the punishment. The group’s lawyer, Karl Heinz Klee, said the athletes “never committed a doping offense,” and that even if they had, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code calls for only a two-year ban for first-time offenders. But banned biathlete Wolfgang Rottmann said he welcomed the action. “I don’t want to have anything to do with the Olympics after the treatment in Turin,” he said.

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