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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/20/sports/olympics/20drugs.html?pagewanted=1&8dpc

While I'm in favor of catching dopers, the degree to which this doping bust affected the athletic performace of those involved seems a bit over the top. Seems that the Austrian XC skiers were detained much of the night, and as a result got little or no sleep the day before their event. Furthermore, the bust was coordinated by the Italian authorities, whose team went on to win the event. It looks like the Austrians might well have been doping, and I'm not saying there was foul play there, but it sets an unsettling precedent; the obvious example in the context of cycling would be a raid on the CSC or Disco team the night before an individual time trial in the TdF (maybe the result of an anonymous tip?), the competitors get no sleep, the outcome of the Tour is affected, etc.

Surely there's a way to police these things while maintaining the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" for the athletes. I'd be pretty upset if the cops kept me up all night before an event I'd trained my whole life for!
 

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This is from Fox Sports

TURIN, Italy (AP) - Faced with mounting evidence that a disgraced ski coach may have brought a major doping scandal upon them, Austrian officials softened their indignation over surprise raids on athletes' quarters Tuesday - and showed signs of accepting that something could be wrong.

More clouds gathered as the day wore on:

Two athletes confessed to a team official that they "may have used illegal methods" at the Turin Games. It was revealed that evidence seized in a surprise sweep over the weekend included about 100 syringes, unlabeled drugs and a blood transfusion machine.

And when investigators went to the living quarters of banned Austrian ski coach Walter Mayer - whose presence at the Olympics triggered an unprecedented investigation - even more syringes were found.

An Italian prosecutor found the additional evidence Monday night when he inspected the private home that Mayer had rented for the Olympics in the mountain hamlet of Pragelato, said Mario Pescante, IOC member and government supervisor for the games.

On Tuesday morning, Austrian ski federation president Peter Schroecksnadel was incensed by the scrutiny from the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee and the Carbinieri paramilitary police, saying the investigation was "no longer about sport, it's just about rumors."

He also said two athletes who bolted the games after the raids had confessed to a team official that they "may have used illegal methods."

Wolfgang Perner and Wolfgang Rottmann, since kicked off the team for leaving the games early, made the statement to the team's sports director, Markus Gandler, Schroecksnadel said at a press conference in the Alpine village of Sestriere.

Schroecksnadel would not elaborate on the athletes' comments, but said the federation was setting up a commission to investigate.

In a series of raids conducted late Saturday on team housing in Pragelato and nearby San Sicario, police seized about 100 syringes, unlabeled medicine bottles, boxes of prescription drugs and a blood-transfusion machine, a person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The source asked not to be identified because the investigation was ongoing.
 
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