Monday, 10. March 2014
14. 08. 09. - 14:00
By Thomas Hochwarter
The head of Austria’s top doping-control laboratory hit back after a former sports manager claimed he had paid workers at official laboratories to check urine samples of athletes.
Günter Gmeiner, chief of the Austrian Research Center in Seibersdorf, Styria, said today (Fri) he could "in all conscience" exclude the possibility that staff at the institute – which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – had been paid or bribed.
His statement comes after Stefan Matschiner, former manager of disgraced ex-cyclist Bernhard Kohl, claimed he had paid staff at WADA offices to check urine samples to find out whether athletes he was working with would test positive in doping tests if they took part in an upcoming competition.
Matschiner, who was kept in investigative custody for five weeks in April and May, is still the target of investigations by Austrian special police commission "SoKo Doping". He worked with Bernhard Kohl, who was found to have done blood doping during last year’s Tour de France in which he finished in third place and was the best climber.
Kohl, 27, initially denied any doping activities but, last autumn, made a tearful confession and pledged to cooperate with investigators. He accused Matschiner of being a key man in international doping circles.
Seibersdorf laboratory boss Günter Gmeiner also told ORF.at he could not imagine bribery was possible at any of WADA’s other 33 centres all over the world since he knew its control mechanisms.
Earlier this year, former Austrian triathlete Lisa Hütthaler revealed she had tried in vain to blackmail a Seibersdorf employee in a dramatic bid to cover up a positive doping probe of herself that she knew about after hearing from colleagues that staff at the laboratory was open-minded about doing so. The 25-year-old, who is cooperating with anti-doping investigators, also ended her career. Gmeiner stressed he had immediately informed anti-doping authorities about the incident.
Gmeiner, who warned athletes might consider "genetic doping" at some point in the future, said his office was constantly gearing itself up with the latest technology but added: "Doping is getting more and more complex and proving it has occurred is getting more difficult and expensive. It will be a big challenge in the future."
Matschiner’s claims have shocked the European sports scene this week as the Track and Field World Championships are set to take place in Berlin from this weekend. Speaking to German broadcaster ARD about production of a documentary, the 34-year-old said: "The employees were given 150 or 300 Euros. That way, it was possible perfectly to prepare the athletes."
The Upper Austrian claimed the method had worked for years and might still work.
Matschiner said he consoled the athletes he was responsible for with doping substances "from various sources in Austria and other countries", adding it was his goal to "ensure they had the right stuff at the right time without delivering positive doping results."
» Business 2011-07-20
The trademark drink of Austria’s most powerful brand in the world may soon be banned in a region of Russia, one of the strongest economies in the world.
» Sports 2010-07-08
Belgium Team Quick Step withdrew Iljo Keisse from the Austria Tour after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) repealed his acquittal from doping.
» Sports 2010-01-08
Disgraced former cyclist Bernhard Kohl has lost a court case over claims that a top doctor knew of his doping.
Another F1 Driver Hospitalised by Ski Accident
Austrian Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger, 54, suffered a broken hip and has been hospitalised after suffering an accident very similar to that of fellow ex-driver Michael Schumacher.
Austrian Relieved To Only be Dead On Paper
Austrian man Christian Kozel, 29, discovered he was dead when uniformed police officers turned up at his home in Salzburg at the weekend.
What is on at Burg Kino this week (7 March - 13 March)
See what films are on this week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring.
Police catch graffiti-villain of Vienna
A graffiti sprayer, named "Puber" has been one of the main "villains" of Vienna for almost a year. He has filled almost the half of the city with his drawings. Now, a suspect, alleged to be the notorious sprayer himself is in the police custody of Vienna and may face up to five years in prison.
Apartment sales drop in Austria
According to the brokerage firm Re/Max, the number of the real estate sales in Austria has declined around 8.3% in the last year. The exact number of properties which were sold and bought accounts to over 80,000 units, which translates into 16 billion euros. Apartments were the most popular type of property sold last year, accounting for 28,000 of the units sold, but there has still been a 9.3% decrease from the last year.
McDonalds boom in Austria
McDonald's in Austria generated 560 million Euros in sales in 2013 after introducing more branches and expanding it's product range.
Exhibition takes you on a journey with Sigmund Freud
To mark the 75th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death, the museum dedicated to him in Vienna is holding an exhibition looking at Freud's journeys around the world, including his final one that saw him flee National Socialism in 1938.
Plastic replacing fish in the Danube
The Danube is so polluted that there are now more plastic particles than fish larvae in the water according to new research.
Ladies skiing offer at Stuhleck this weekend
In celebration of International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March, the Stuhleck ski resort in eastern Austrian is giving female skiers discount prices on ski passes.
Rediscovered 'degenerate' painting on show at Belvedere
A painting that was rediscovered in 2012, decades after it was seized by the Nazi's for being 'degenerate', is on display at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Veggies suffer more health problems say Graz researchers|
|Austria releases list of Ukrainians to have assets frozen|
|Terrifying high speed dash for British school ski group|
|Vienna first city to be granted personal domain name|
|Animal rights group protest against Burberry fur in Vienna|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.