Botvinov given suspended 4-month term in dope case

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.