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Austrian triathlete receives one year suspension for “possession”

Inhaler containing banned substance found in athletes house during a police search

Thomas Steger, a pro triathlete from the Pewag Triathlon Team, successfully appealed to have his four-year suspension reduced to one year for “possession of a prohibited substance.” His ban began on Oct. 7, 2022 and will end on Oct. 6, 2023.


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A post shared by Thomas Steger (@steger_thomas)

The ban was announced on the Nada Austria (the country’s anti-doping agency) website.

According to Steger, in 2021, Nada Austria, was given an anonymous tip “accusing me of being part of a doping ring.” In Austria doping offences are criminal offences, so the initial case was handled by Austrian police. During that initial case, Steger’s house was searched.

The criminal case was resolved in 2022, according to Steger, and he was acquitted. During the search in 2021, though, an inhaler that contained Fenoterol was found in his house. According to Steger, the inhaler was “from my father’s practice … (and) I have never used it.”

Steger says that once the criminal case ended, he was charged by Nada Austria for possession of the banned substance contained in the inhaler.

“I didn’t go to the court (big mistake) because I was mentally broken, and I didn’t have the best lawyer, either,” Steger said in an interview today. He was initially given a four year suspension. Steger then hired another lawyer and appealed the sentence, which was then changed to the one year announced earlier this week.

Steger’s team, Pewag, remains behind him, posting a statement on Instagram expressing their support:

Gustav Iden quickly moved to the front of the race, but for a while during the first lap of the run, Austria’s Thomas Steger thought he might actually be able to outrun the Dane. Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade

Steger, who finished third at the 2022 Challenge Championship, says he intends to return to competition and will continue to work with the Pewag team.