German, Italian thrown out in doping cases

Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:00pm EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Germany's two-times Olympic cross-country skiing champion Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian police officer and four-man bobsledder William Frullani were thrown out of the Olympics on Friday after testing positive for drugs.

Sachenbacher-Stehle, who was competing in the biathlon in Sochi but did not win a medal, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamin with the second "B" sample tested on Friday.

"The (German Olympic Committee) DOSB stands for a doping-free sport and a zero tolerance," German team chief Michael Vesper told reporters in Sochi. "For us it is only clean performances that count. It is not an occasion I would have wished to experience."

Vesper said the athlete, who told him she must have taken the substance "inadvertently" through some nutritional supplement, was already on her way back to Germany.

"We had warned our athletes repeatedly of the dangers that these substances might have."

He said the IOC had yet to contact them following Friday's disciplinary commission meeting and had not announced their decision.

"I have not heard from them and I do not have their ruling," he said.

Sachenbacher-Stehle, provisionally banned for five days before the start of the Turin 2006 Olympics for high levels of haemoglobin in her blood, won gold in the team sprint at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and in the 4x5km relay at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.   Continued...

Germany's Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle leaves the shooting range during the mixed biathlon relay at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, in this picture taken February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/Files