Cross-Country Skiing - Austrian Duerr tests positive for EPO

Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who placed eighth in the Sochi Olympics skiathlon, has tested positive for performance-boosting EPO and has been exluded from the Games, the Austrian Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

Cross-Country Skiing - Austrian Duerr tests positive for EPO

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Johannes Duerr of Austria celebrates as he crosses the finish line to third place during the men's FIS World Cup cross-country skiing 9km free final climb pursuit race on the Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme January 5, 2014 (Reuters)

Duerr, 26, is the fifth athlete to test positive at the Winter Games, which conclude later on Sunday.

"I am shocked," Austrian Olympic chief Karl Stoss said. "His immediate exclusion from the Olympic team has been completed."

The International Ski Federation said the athlete had also been withdrawn from the men's 50km mass start free later on Sunday.

Latvian men's ice hockey player Vitaljis Pavlovs was thrown out of the Sochi Olympics earlier on Sunday after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine

German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Italian bobsleigh athlete William Frullani and Ukraine's cross-country skier Marina Lisogor have also been caught doping at Russia's first Winter Games.

The IOC is conducting a record 2,500 doping tests in Sochi. The 2010 Vancouver Olympics had one positive case.

Four years earlier, at the Turin 2006 Olympics, the Austrian cross country and biathlon teams had their headquarters raided by Italian police and drugs testers in a high-profile doping scandal.

None tested positive but half a dozen athletes were banned for life after the discovery of syringes and other equipment, and the Austrian Olympic Committee was fined for anti-doping rules violations by the International Olympic Committee.

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