Austria's Pinter to make comeback

VIENNA -- Austrian cross-country skier Jurgen Pinter will return to the World Cup circuit next season after finishing his four-year ban from the doping scandal at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

The 31-year-old Pinter, who has always denied any wrongdoing, has trained throughout the suspension. The ban ended March 1.

"A comeback had only been doubtful for a short time. I decided to continue my career shortly after the ban had been announced," Pinter said. "Next year's world championships in Oslo are my goal."

The Austrian Ski Federation has included Pinter in the national cross-country team for the next World Cup season.

Pinter was suspended by the International Ski Federation after large amounts of blood-doping products and equipment were found in the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team lodgings in Turin following a raid by Italian police.

Pinter was one of four cross-country skiers banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC, which also fined the Austrian Olympic Committee $1 million.

Pinter had initially been cleared by FIS and the Austrian Ski Federation, but that was overruled in November 2008 by the Court of Arbitration of Sport on appeal by the International Olympic Committee and WADA.

Pinter won bronze in the 30-kilometer race at the 2005 national championships. He hasn't won a World Cup event.