Disgraced coach claims IOC plot
Vienna – Former Austrian nordic skiing and biathlon coach Walter Mayer insisted Thursday he was the victim of an Olympic plot, after appealing his 15-month jail sentence on doping charges.
“My suspicion that there is a conspiracy has grown,” the 54-year-old told a press conference. “I didn't think something like this was possible. But I made the mistake of getting in a fight with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) empire.
“This was a pre-programmed sentence in a brilliant show trial,” he insisted.
Mayer was found guilty Wednesday of providing several top athletes with banned substances between 2005 and 2009 and was handed a 15-month jail term, which his lawyers immediately appealed.
The former coach, who was already linked to the doping scandal involving Austrian biathletes at the 2006 Turin Olympics, has repeatedly blamed the IOC and its president Jacques Rogge for his legal troubles.
Following Turin, Rogge pointed the finger at Mayer, prompting the Austrian to sue him for defamation.
Mayer however withdrew the lawsuit in 2007. Austrian media reported he had received in exchange 300,000 euros ($430,200) from a lobbyist for Salzburg's 2014 Olympic bid, which eventually went to the Russian resort of Sochi.
Mayer was already banned from the Olympics following allegations of blood doping at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. – Sapa-AFP