OBERHOFEN, Switzerland (AP)
_ Austrian skier, Hans Knauss, was banned for 1 1/2 years by the sport's international federation Tuesday after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone.
The ban covers the 2006 Turin Olympics and could end the 33-year-old skier's career. Knauss has won seven World Cup races in 14 seasons and was a giant slalom silver medalist at the 2003 world championships.
Knauss' lawyer, Christian Flick, said he would appeal in an attempt to reduce the ban to a year.
``Our aim is still to get Hans back on the slopes as quickly as possible,'' Flick told The Associated Press. ``Eighteen months is not the two-year ban usually applied for doping cases.''
Knauss had faced a possible two-year ban, but the federation doping panel ruled he did not act intentionally.
``The athlete did not exercise adequate caution by deliberately choosing to use supplements different from the ones recommended by his association,'' the federation said.
Knauss had been provisionally suspended after testing positive at a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 27, 2004. His suspension was backdated to then and will run until May 26, 2006. Knauss' fourth-place result from the Lake Louise downhill was nullified.
There have been few doping cases in Alpine skiing since France's Christelle Guignard was stripped of her 1989 world championship bronze medal in giant slalom. Britain's Alain Baxter was stripped of his 2002 Olympic slalom bronze after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
March 1, 2005