Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr apologized after he was tested positive for blood-boosting drug EPO before the final of the event.
Duerr was supposed to be a seeded starter in Sunday’s final cross-country event but he was sent home after he was tested positive for EPO or recombinant erythropoietin, a class S2 on the prohibited substances list.
“There’s nothing left for me than to apologize to everyone – to my family, my wife,” Duerr said. “For me the main thing is simply all the people I disappointed. Yes, I can’t make it good again but I would just like to apologize.”
Austrian Olympic chief Karl Stoss was shocked with the news, saying “Johannes is a great guy, so I don’t understand how it could happen.”
Earlier, Swedish hockey player Nicklas Backstrom was pulled out of Sweden’s ice hockey final against Canada after testing positive for a substance found in an allergy medication.
However, Backstrom stressed that he has nothing to hide, saying he has allergy problems and has been taking medications for the last seven years.
“I feel like I haven’t done anything differently now than the last seven years. I’ve been playing internationally for many years and I haven’t seen this before,” Backstrom said.
Also, Latvian hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs, Ukrainian cross-country skier Marina Lisogor, German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsleigher William Frullani were already tested positive for banned substances under the International Olympic Committee’s doping control program.