Gradwohl in dope decision

VIENNA - Austrian marathon runner Eva-Maria Gradwohl has ended her career after refusing a doping test in Croatia where she was holidaying, the Austria Press Agency (APA) announced yesterday.

VIENNA - Austrian marathon runner Eva-Maria Gradwohl has ended her career after refusing a doping test in Croatia where she was holidaying, the Austria Press Agency (APA) announced yesterday.

Gradwohl had qualified for the European athletics championships in Barcelona this summer after winning the Linz marathon last month.

In November, she also won the marathon in Florence, Italy.

The 37-year-old competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is the partner of Walter Mayer, the former coach of the Austrian Nordic skiing team implicated in the doping scandals at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and in Turin in 2006.

Mayer was also arrested last year at Gradwohl's home as part of another investigation, suspected of having procured and supplied athletes with doping products including the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Austria's National Anti-Doping Agency Nada has launched an investigation against Gradwohl, Nada chief Andreas Schwab announced.

"A refusal to do a doping test is the same as a positive doping test," he told APA. - Sapa-AFP

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