Cross-Country

Thomson Reuters - Sunday Feb. 23, 2014 02:40 ET

Johannes Duerr is 5th Sochi athlete to test positive

Austrian barred from cross-country race on Olympics' final day

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Johannes Duerr was withdrawn from the men's 50-km mass start event on the Olympics' final day. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who placed eighth in the Sochi Olympics skiathlon, has tested positive for performance-boosting EPO and has been excluded from the Games, the Austrian Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

Duerr, 26, is the fifth athlete to test positive at the Winter Games, which conclude later on Sunday.

"I am shocked," Austrian Olympic chief Karl Stoss said. "His immediate exclusion from the Olympic team has been completed."

The International Ski Federation said the athlete had also been withdrawn from the men's 50-km mass start free on Sunday.

Latvian men's ice hockey player Vitaljis Pavlovs was thrown out of the Sochi Olympics earlier on Sunday after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine

German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Italian bobsleigh athlete William Frullani and Ukraine's cross-country skier Marina Lisogor have also been caught doping at Russia's first Winter Games.

The IOC is conducting a record 2,500 doping tests in Sochi. The 2010 Vancouver Olympics had one positive case.

Four years earlier, at the Turin 2006 Olympics, the Austrian cross country and biathlon teams had their headquarters raided by Italian police and drugs testers in a high-profile doping scandal.

None tested positive but half a dozen athletes were banned for life after the discovery of syringes and other equipment, and the Austrian Olympic Committee was fined for anti-doping rules violations by the International Olympic Committee.

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