By Susan Westemeyer
Two U23 riders on the Austrian World's team have been removed from the roster for missing a doping control Thursday evening, the Austrian cycling federation (ÖRV) announced on Saturday. Christian Ebner and Markus Eibegger were not suspended, but will not be allowed to ride for the national team in the upcoming World Championships in Salzburg, ÖRV general secretary Rudolf Massak said.
According to Austrian ORF television, the incident took place at the ÖRV's training camp in Bad Tatzmannsdorf. Dinner was set for 7 p.m., and the doping controller appeared at 7:15 p.m.. Shortly thereafter "Ebner and Eiberger disappeared." Eiberger finally performed the test at a doctor's office on Friday evening, but did not give a reason for skipping the earlier test when he called Massak. "We didn't have time for a long talk, he had to make the test quickly. And now we have to wait for the next step and let the institutions do their work. If there should be a doping problem, the ÖRV's anti-doping committee will get active." Eiberger, 22 years old, was considered to have a good chance in the World's, as he has won several races in the last few weeks.
Massak had not heard from Ebner. "I haven't been able to reach him, I have also tried it through his parents. I would very much like to know what is happening," he said.
"Because the behaviour of the athletes absolutely contradicts the strict anti-doping policies of the federation, the ÖRV management has decided not to allow the two athletes to participate on the national team until the situation has been made clear," according to the federation's statement. The federation met on Friday evening. "We discussed it along time and sadly came to this conclusion, but we have strict rules and cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour," MAssak said. He emphasized that the two were not suspended: "Naturally they can ride other races."