STATEMENT BY THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
The IOC can confirm that unannounced out-of-competition doping tests have been conducted on a number of Austrian cross country and biathlon athletes.
As part of its anti-doping rules for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games (article 22.214.171.124), doping tests can be done on blood and urine at any time, based on a number of criteria, including any fact as determined by the IOC at its sole discretion.
In this instance, the IOC has acted on information it received in a report given to it by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which indicates the possible presence of Mr Walther Mayer in the private accommodation of the Austrian biathlon and cross country teams. Given that Mr Mayer has been declared ineligible to participate in all Olympic Games up to and including Vancouver 2010, based on his involvement in blood manipulation offences committed in Salt Lake City 2002, the IOC is fulfilling its responsibility to conduct anti-doping controls on athletes who might have been under his influence.
The IOC can also confirm that it transmitted the WADA report to the Italian authorities for their information and subsequent follow up as they deem appropriate.
Please note the IOC will hold a press briefing on 19 February 2006 at 10:30 a.m. in Sala 500 of the Main Press Centre in Turin.