Austrian cross: country skier Duerr tests positive for EPO

Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:40am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr has apologized for the stupidity that saw him kicked out of the Sochi Winter Olympics after testing positive for performance-boosting EPO.

The 26-year-old, who had placed eighth in the skiathlon, on Sunday became the fifth athlete to be ejected from the Games for a failed dope test.

"There's nothing left for me than to apologize to everyone. To my family, my wife," Duerr told Austrian TV ORF at the airport as he was leaving.

The athlete made no excuses, saying he felt a sense of relief everything was now out in the open.

"For me the main thing is simply all the people I disappointed... yes, I can't make it good again but I would just like to apologize.

"And so many people worked their butts off for me and I disappointed them with my stupidity. First of all I would simply like to apologize and everything else, all further steps, we'll see what comes my way. I don't know myself yet.

"No, I'm not afraid. Part of me is happy that it came to an end," adding that he had certainly trusted the wrong people.

Austrian Olympic chief Karl Stoss said the news had shocked him. "His immediate exclusion from the Olympic team has been completed," he added.   Continued...

Johannes Duerr of Austria celebrates as he crosses the finish line to third place during the men's FIS World Cup cross-country skiing 9km free final climb pursuit race on the Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme January 5, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo