Former Austrian Ski Coach Files Lawsuit

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March 31, 2006

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The former Austrian ski coach who fled the Turin Olympics after a doping raid sued International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge for defamation on Friday.

The lawsuit filed by Walter Mayer came two days after lodging a similar suit against World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound.

Mayer's lawyer, Herwig Hasslacher, said Rogge was being sued after claiming that Mayer "organized" doping by the Austrians. A court date was not immediately set.

Mayer, who was banned from the Olympics following allegations of blood doping at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, traveled to Turin but fled after police raids of Austria's cross-country and Nordic team quarters. Mayer later crashed his car into a police blockade just over the Austrian border and ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

Hasslacher said equipment recovered in the raids, which Pound described as blood doping gear, was legitimate equipment used only to monitor lactic acid levels in athletes.