Former Austrian skier Johannes Duerr banned for life for doping

VIENNA -- Former Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who was expelled from the 2014 Sochi Olympics for the use of EPO, has been banned for life for his alleged role in a doping network in recent years.

The Austrian Anti-Doping Legal Committee said Thursday that Duerr was found guilty of blood doping, the possession and use of banned substances as well as passing them on to other athletes.

Duerr was the whistleblower for Operation Aderlass, the criminal investigation into an international doping ring that was revealed by raids at the Nordic skiing world championships in Seefeld, Austria, in February. Prosecutors expected 21 athletes from five sports to be involved.

Five years ago, Duerr was banned for two years after being sent home from the Sochi Games for failing a doping test. He returned to the circuit in an attempt to qualify for the Nordic worlds in Austria, but all his results since February 2014 have been declared invalid.

Duerr's former teammates Max Hauke and Dominik Baldauf and cyclists Georg Preidler and Stefan Denifl have all been banned for four years for their alleged involvement in the doping ring.