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Austrian police question Russian biathlon team on doping – union

Austrian police question Russian biathlon team on doping – union

December 13th, 2018

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Biathlon Union has revealed that Austrian police officers visited members of the nation’s biathlon team on Wednesday to interview them over possible doping violations.

The union said questions to the athletes, who are in Austria for the latest meeting in the Biathlon World Cup series, concerned potential offences committed during last year’s World Cup races at the same Hochfilzen venue.

The organisation added that Russia’s biathlon team would nonetheless continue to race in the World Cup series, the IBU Cup and other international competitions.

“Police representatives questioned a series of Russian sports people and specialists,” the union said in a statement on Thursday.

“Embassy employees and specialists are providing all the necessary assistance to the national team’s sports people and specialists,” it added.

Last month, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) said four Russian athletes had been charged with anti-doping violations after it analysed data from the country’s anti-doping agency laboratory in Moscow.

The IBU said it based its decision on samples collected from 2012-15.

Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping across many sports, including biathlon. Moscow has denied the allegations.

However, a selection of Russian athletes with no history of doping were allowed to compete as neutrals on IOC invites, with four biathletes from the nation making the trip to South Korea.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Andrey Ostroukh Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by John O’Brien)

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