Graf faces doping probe

VIENNA - Austria's anti-doping authority said yesterday that it has launched proceedings against former Olympic silver medallist Stephanie Graf, six years after the end of her career.

VIENNA - Austria's anti-doping authority said yesterday that it has launched proceedings against former Olympic silver medallist Stephanie Graf, six years after the end of her career.

The probe by the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) comes amid allegations that Graf - who was the runner-up in the 800m at the 2000 Sydney Games - had blood taken at a controversial Vienna lab at least once for doping purposes.

Graf has admitted that she had blood taken at the Humanplasma lab in 2003 but denies it was ever re-injected, which would have been illegal under international anti-doping rules.

Humanplasma revealed in March that its facility had been used by several coaches to help about 30 athletes with blood doping from 2003 until 2006.

Graf told public broadcaster ORF that she didn't care about the probe and had told the truth all along. She also suggested some people in Austria were out to get her years after the end of her career.

"I won't let myself be influenced by this negative energy," ORF quoted Graf as saying.

Earlier this year, the secretary- general of the Austrian Athletics Federation, Helmut Baudis, had called on Nada to investigate Graf. - Sapa-AP

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