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Austrian WADA lab not involved in manipulation, boss says

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
August 17, 2009, 9:48 BST,
Updated:
August 17, 2009, 11:25 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 17, 2009
Bernhard Kohl was caught with CERA

Bernhard Kohl was caught with CERA

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Denies involvement with Matschiner's claims of bribery or illegal testing

The anti-doping lab in Seibersdorf, Austria, was not one of those whose employees were paid or bribed to test urine samples from athletes to help them escape a positive doping test, the head of the lab has said.

Günter Gmeiner, head of the Austrian Research Center, said that he could "in all conscience" deny that his staff were involved.

Last week Stefan Matschiner, a sports agent, said that he had paid staff at unnamed World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) labs to test samples to determine how much of various substances athletes could take without getting caught. Bernhard Kohl confirmed that two of his samples had been so tested.

It would not be possible to smuggle a sample in and do an unreported test of it, Gmeiner told Austrian news service tirol-online. "In the lab we have 24 hour observation, seven days a week. That means that everyone who enters the lab is observed. Plus, all positive test results are reported in three different places and third, the WADA regularly controls the accredited labs."

Reports of the laboratories involved had included anti-doping labs in Lausanne, Prague, Warsaw and Cologne. "I find manipulation in these other labs to be extremely unlikely," he said.

Matschiner is under investigation by the Austrian special police commission "SoKo doping" for his role in the HumanPlasma doping scheme, as is Kohl. Kohl tested positive for EPO-CERA during last year's Tour de France.

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