Kazakhstan biathlon team's hotel raided on eve of World Championships

Biathlon
The World Championships are behind held in Hochfilzen, Austria

Austrian police raided the Kazakhstan biathlon team's hotel on the eve of the World Championships as they investigate if anti-doping rules have been broken.

Medical equipment, medical products and mobile phones were among the items seized, while Austria's anti-doping authority took blood and urine samples.

The International Biathlon Union said Kazakhstan could still compete in Thursday's mixed relay in Hochfilzen.

Manas Ussenov, of the Kazak biathlon federation, said: "We are not worried."

Ussenov added: "They found in the room of our doctor some medicine. But according to our doctor, we have all the documentation for these medicines."

Police said the raid was carried out after a cardboard box containing used medical equipment - and written notes "indicating doping had taken place" - was found at a nearby petrol station last month.

Meanwhile, French biathlete Martin Fourcade walked off the podium in protest as Russian athletes were presented with their flowers for finishing third in the mixed relay.

Fourcade, a two-time Olympic champion, left his three team-mates to walk past the Russian team before eventually rejoining the stage.

The Russian team refused to shake hands with the 29-year-old silver medallist who has been leading calls for the International Biathlon Union (IBU) to crack down on doping.

The event was the first since Russian Alexander Loginov's return to the sport from a doping ban.

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