Austrians arrest athletes in high-profile doping scandal | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.04.2009
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Austrians arrest athletes in high-profile doping scandal

The Austrian public prosecutor's office made three new arrests in an anti-doping case that has rocked Austrian sport over the last two weeks.

Motion picture of cyclists

Officials in Austria are cracking down on doping

The three unnamed people join former Austrian nordic skiing coach Walter Mayer and cycling manager Stefan Matschiner in police custody.

Mayer, 52, was implicated in doping scandals at the Winter Olympics of Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin in 2006, while Matschiner saw his charge Bernhard Kohl stripped of his third-place finish in the 2008 Tour de France after testing positive for the blood boosted EPO Cera.

Mayer and Matschiner were arrested after being accused of supplying doping products to other athletes.

Cyclist arrested

Austrian cyclist Christof Kerschbaum on Thursday denied having made money through the distribution of banned substances. Kerschbaum's arrest was the first ever of an athlete in Austria on doping allegations.

Under a reform to Austrian law possession and trafficking of doping substances now carries a five-year jail sentence.

Meanwhile a Viennese pharmacist suspected of having supplied Mayer with the products was freed from custody on Thursday after spending a week in detention.

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