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Austrian Nordic skiing coach quits, digusted by doping

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Oslo (AFP)

Austria's Nordic skiing coach said on Friday that he was resigning because he did "not want to go on" after two of his skiers were implicated in doping.

Austrian police carried out a series of arrests and raids on Wednesday along with police in Germany in a crackdown on an "internationally active doping network".

Some of the police action was centred on the Austrian resort of Seefeld, where the Nordic skiing world championships are in progress.

Markus Gandler from the Austrian Ski Association told ORF television that two cross-country skiers from the Austrian team, Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke, were among those who had been arrested.

Footage posted on social media showed Hauke apparently caught red-handed with a needle in his arm during the police raid with an officer looking on.

"I can no longer motivate myself when such things happen," Trond Nystad told Norwegian radio and television network NRK.

"If I had expected this, I would never have taken this job," he added.

"The two boys have done something completely illegal," Nystad said. "To suddenly see the video of it, made me feel bad."

Nystad, who is 48, and has coached in the United States, Switzerland and Norway, took the job in 2016.

Austrian police said Kazakh and an Estonian were also held in "Operation Bloodletting".

Austrian police say the doping ring was based in Erfurt in Germany and is "strongly suspected of carrying out blood doping of elite athletes in order to improve their performances in national and international competitions and to gain illegal profit from this".

A 40-year-old sports doctor, named as 'Mark S', is thought by police to have been a central figure in the doping ring and was arrested along with an alleged accomplice.

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