German biathlete reportedly tests positive at Sochi 2014

Friday, 21 February 2014
By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Sochi

An unnamed German has recorded an abnormal drugs test result ©AFP/Getty ImagesFebruary 21 - A German athlete, reported to be double Olympic gold medal winning biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, has recorded an "abnormal" drugs test result in the first doping scandal of Sochi 2014. 

A statement was posted on the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) website this afternoon that revealed they were informed last night by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that an A sample recorded an adverse result from an unnamed athlete.

They added a Disciplinary Commission would convene later in the day following the B sample being tested.

But German news agency DPA are reporting that the athlete who has tested positive is Sachenbacher-Stehle, winner of five Olympic medals, including two gold, but none here.

Her best result had been fourth in the women's 12.5km mass start and in the 2x6km women + 2x7.5km men mixed relay.

Sachenbacher-Stehle, a 33 year-old from Traunstein, had switched to biathlon from cross country two years ago.

In her former discipline she had won Olympic titles at Salt Lake City 2002 in the 4x5km and Vancouver 2010 in the team sprint as well as silver medals in the individual sprint at Salt Lake City, 4x5km at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.

It is being reported that the identity of the German is biathlete Evi Sachenbacher...but this is yet to be confirmed ©AFP/Getty ImagesIt is being reported that the identity of the German is biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle...but this is yet to be confirmed ©AFP/Getty Images



But she is no stranger to doping controversies at the Olympics after she also received a five-day suspension at the beginning of the 2006 Games due to a high hemoglobin level.

She was one of 12 athletes given five-day suspensions for health reasons after the International Ski Federation (FIS) decided they could not safely compete due to an abnormally high red blood cell counts.

This news is a bitter blow to the German team currently lie third in the medals table with eight gold, four silver and four bronze medals after being in first position for much of the Games.

It also follows the words of Germany's IOC President Thomas Bach, who last November warned countries that a positive drugs test would overshadow the achievement of any team at Sochi 2014.

Until now, no other athletes are known to have failed tests during the Games, although Russian biathlete Irina Starykh was withdrawn from her country's team two weeks beforehand after testing positive.

Contact the writer of this story at nick.butler@insidethegames.biz


Related stories
January 2014: 
Starykh removed from Russian Olympic biathlon team after positive drugs test confirmed
November 2013: Sochi 2014 achievements will be overshadowed if involved in doping scandal, Bach warns European countries
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