HOCHFILZEN, Austria – The Austrian federal criminal agency said Thursday it raided the lodgings of the Kazakh national biathlon team on the eve of the world championships on suspicion of doping.
Police said they seized medical equipment, drugs and mobile phones late Wednesday, adding that criminal authorities were investigating whether Austrian anti-doping laws have been breached.
Immediately after the raid, anti-doping officials visited the Kazakh team to conduct tests and take blood and urine samples.
IBU general secretary Nicole Resch said Kazakhstan would be able to compete as planned in a mixed relay, the opening event of the world championships, later Thursday.
“We fully trust the investigations by the authorities,” Resch said. “Until now, we don’t know if banned substances or banned methods are involved. Only then we can take measures.”
The Kazakh team for the 2×6-2×7.5-kilometer relay consists of Olga Poltoranina, Anna Kristanova, Maxim Braun and Yan Savitskiy.
Police have been preparing the raid since a cardboard box was found at a nearby petrol station last month. The box contained used medical equipment, including needles, infusions and ampules, as well as written notes and accreditations to several IBU events.
Police said an investigation of the written notes led them to the Kazakh team.