Austria Drops Lifetime Ban on Ski Coach

FasterSkierJune 18, 2004

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Walter Mayer was reinstated as Austria's cross-country ski coach despite a lifetime ban following a doping scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

“It was my declared wish to have him on the team again because Walter has proven to give our team the needed boost,” said Markus Gandler, sporting director of the Austrian Nordic ski team.

The International Ski Federation banned Mayer for life after the discovery of blood doping paraphernalia in a house occupied by Austrian skiers at Salt Lake City.

Mayer sought and won a court injunction until May 2005 after the Austrian team provided evidence showing the blood treatment had no performance-enhancing effects. The ski federation is appealing the ruling.

A separate International Olympic Committee suspension banning Mayer from the 2006 and 2010 Olympics remains.

“I am sure we can cope without Walter at the Olympics,” Gandler said. “After all, he can prepare our team up till the moment when the Olympics are declared open.”
Mayer will meet his teams for training May 3. He will hold a two-week camp in Cyprus.


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