Fresh battle begins as Baxter appeals against three-month ban from skiing

SKIER Alain Baxter has lodged an appeal against his three-month ban from competition.

Baxter, who was stripped of his bronze medal in the Winter Olympics after failing a drugs test, was banned for three months by the International Ski Federation (FIS) earlier this month.

The FIS ruled that Baxter, 28, from Aviemore, had not intentionally sought to enhance his performance and handed down the standard sanction for a first offence of unintentionally using a prohibited substance.

Fiona McNeilly, of the British Skiing Snowboard Federation, said Baxter lodged his appeal after waiting the statutory 21 days.

Ms McNeilly said: "Alain is appealing against the decision of the FIS council - he feels it’s necessary."

Ms McNeilly said the retrospective ban, which included the final two months of last season, meant Baxter would be forced to sit out the early stages of the Northern Hemisphere season, which starts on 15 November. His ban lasts until 15 December.

Ms McNeilly confirmed it was also unlikely that any appeal hearing before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about Baxter being stripped of his medal would be heard before September.

It had been hoped the hearing would take place on 9 or 10 July.

Baxter tested positive for the banned substance methamphetamine after he won bronze, Britain’s first-ever Olympic skiing medal, in the men’s slalom at Salt Lake City in February.