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Study: Athletes not punished for missing doping tests

BERLIN -- Athletes skipped doping tests in Germany with
regularity last year and weren't punished, a study by television
station ARD revealed Tuesday.

According to the half-hour documentary ARD will broadcast
Wednesday, 250 athletes refused about 400 unannounced tests while
training -- and even repeat offenders weren't suspended according to
the rules.

The German system calls for athletes to be available for testing
around the clock, with a warning for a first missed test, a
two-month ban for a second and a one-year suspension for a third.

The documentary said track athletes, followed by cyclists, were
the most likely to avoid the tests.

"The report shows weakness in the anti-doping system," said
Michael Vesper, general secretary of the German Olympics Sports
Federation. "We are demanding from NADA that they immediately look
into it and act accordingly."

NADA is Germany's anti-doping agency. The German Olympics Sports
Federation is the new umbrella organization for most sports in
Germany, including the Olympic disciplines.