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Austrian skier Johannes Duerr says being a young father and training for Sochi drove him to doping.
EPA Austrian skier Johannes Duerr says being a young father and training for Sochi drove him to doping.

Disgraced Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr said the double burden of being a young father and training for the Winter Olympic Games drove him to doping, according to an interview by the Austrian weekly Sportwoche that was published on Tuesday.

Duerr, a medal contender for Sunday's 50km race in Sochi, was forced to leave the Games shortly before the competition after tests showed he had taken the blood booster EPO.

The 26-year-old athlete said he had started taking it in May.

"I was overstretched with my life. My little son was crying all the time, and I did not get any sleep. I was supposed to train; I had had a good season, so the expectations had risen," he said.

Duerr said he bought the illicit substance from a "guy from former Yugoslavia" and that he would cooperate fully with investigators.

Duerr was among six athletes who tested positive at the Games.

Austrian Winter Olympic athletes were involved in major doping cases at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and four years later in Turin.