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Austrian Police Raid Kazakh Biathlon Team Lodgings Over Suspected Doping

Austrian police have raided the lodgings of the Kazakh national biathlon team on suspicion of doping.

The Austrian federal criminal agency says the raid took place at the team’s hotel late on February 8, ahead of the world championships in the Alpine town of Hochfilzen.

A statement said medical equipment, medication, and mobile phones were seized, and Kazakh athletes had to undergo urine and blood doping tests conducted by Austria's Anti-Doping Agency.

The raid was organized after a cardboard box was found at a nearby gas station in January, the statement said, adding that it contained used medical equipment, written notes, and accreditations to International Biathlon Union (IBU) events.

Manas Ussenov, the secretary-general of the Kazakh Biathlon Federation, said "every medicine that is used by our team is documented" as being permissible.

"There is no nervousness [among the team] because everybody is sure about their innocence," he added.

IBU Secretary-General Nicole Resch said that at least for now the 11-member Kazakh team was free to compete at the world championships, which began on February 9.

"We fully trust the investigations by the authorities," Resch said, adding that "we don't know if banned substances or banned methods are involved. Only then we can take measures."

Biathlon combines Nordic skiing and riflery.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

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