March 3 - Former world champion Manuel Machata has been banned for a year by the German Bobsleigh Luge and Skeleton Federation (BSD) for lending equipment to Russian rival Alexander Zubkov ahead of him winning two gold medals at Sochi 2014.
In a bizarre story Machata, part of Germany's victorious four-man team at the 2011 World Championships but who did not qualify for Sochi 2014, privately lent his personal sled to Opening Ceremony Flagbearer Zubkov for a fee ahead of the Games.
As well as a one-year competitive ban, Machata has been fined €5,000 ($6,900/£4,100) for causing "great damage" to the interests of the Federation, it was announced today.
The BSD insisted that this did not explain the team's poor performance in Sochi but was nonetheless important to preserving the "national interest" of the team.
"Of course we are aware that sleds were traded internationally in the past," said BSD President Andreas Trautmann.
"This procedure I've always been critical of.
"We will take the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi as an opportunity to set clear rules for German athletes in our regulations.
"This relatively harsh punishment against Manuel Machata should be a first step in order to preserve national interests."
But the decision by the BSD has been criticised in some quarters and a Facebook petition has been launched to defend an "absolutely fair gesture" that displays the "Olympic spirit in model fashion".
As of this afternoon, the petition only had around 100 supporters.
Sochi 2014 was notable for several cases of sportsmanship including one where, in the reverse situation of the bobsleigh case, German skiers and biathletes were lent kit by the Russian team after the Germans had problems with their own gear.
A German athlete is also responsible for perhaps the most famous example of good sportsmanship in Olympic history, when long jumper Luz Long advised American Jesse Owens to altar the length of his run up ahead the Berlin 1936 Olympic final.
Owens went on to take the gold medal while Long took silver.