Associated Press Sports
updated 7/21/2008 12:09:57 PM ET 2008-07-21T16:09:57

All 73 athletes in the Austrian team for next month's Beijing Olympics have tested negative for doping, an anti-doping official said Monday.

"We've tested all candidates for the team multiple times in the last couple of months and there was absolutely no problem whatsoever,'' said Andreas Schwab, director of Austria's national anti-doping agency.

"We tested them all to be really sure ... though every athlete has its own individual responsibility as well,'' Schwab said.

The Austrian Olympic Committee, who announced its team for Beijing in a Vienna hotel on Monday, wanted to have all athletes tested several times in an attempt to avoid a scandal like at the 2006 Turin Olympics, where Italian police raided the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team lodgings, seizing a large amount of doping products and equipment.

"Doping tests will be severe in China, and extra severe when Austrian athletes are included,'' Austrian Olympic Committee president Leo Wallner said.

In an effort to make doping more difficult, Austrian athletes won't be allowed to stay outside of the official lodgings in Beijing, like the cross-country and biathlon teams did in Turin.

"All our athletes will stay in the Olympic village without exception. Other lodgings are not allowed,'' Wallner said.

The raid in Turin triggered an investigation that led the International Olympic Committee to impose lifetime bans on four athletes. One of the penalties was reduced to a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IOC also fined the Austrian Olympic Committee US$1 million for failing to prevent the blood-doping violations.

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