Olympics: IOC rejects complaints over 'late night' dope tests

SOCHI (AFP) - The International Olympic Committee on Thursday swatted away complaints that doping tests were being carried out inconveniently late and hurting athletes' preparations.

Austria's Olympic Committee had complained to the IOC after its ski star Elisabeth Goergl had to undergo a doping test at 10.55 pm on Tuesday night, the day before she competed in the downhill.

But IOC spokesman Mark Adams said there was a fixed window for carrying out tests and the test on Goergl had been carried out in line with standard practice.

"I am obviously aware of that matter, it was raised with our medical experts," he said.

"We have a zero tolerance policy towards doping and as part of that the testing usually happens between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm," he said.

"That particular test was carried out within the IOC Rules and in accordance with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) standards, so I don't really have much more to say about that," he added.

Russian media have also grumbled loudly that Russia's new female skating prodigy, Julia Lipnitskaia, 15, who won gold in the team competition and is a favourite in the women's singles, was subjected to a late night doping test in the Games.

The IOC, which carries out the doping tests, has to date carried out 1,348 tests in the Games, including 321 post competition.

Hosts Russia are under particular pressure to show their athletes are clean after finally setting up a domestic anti-doping agency to crack down on cheats.