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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Mikhail Botvinov gets 4-month term

Associated Press

LEOBEN, Austria -- Former Austrian cross-country skier Mikhail Botvinov has been given a suspended four-month prison term for giving false testimony as a witness in a doping case against ex-Nordic coach Walter Mayer.

A regional court ruled on Wednesday that Botvinov falsely denied having had his blood taken at a Vienna lab, which Mayer allegedly used to help numerous athletes with blood doping between 2003-06.

Botvinov can appeal the verdict. The Russian-born athlete, who gained Austrian citizenship in 1998, won silver in the 30k freestyle mass start at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and bronze in the 50k event at the 2006 Turin Games.

Mayer was found guilty of doping offenses and given a partly suspended 15-month prison term last August.