By Nick Butler

Vancouver 2010 veteran Igor Stella has been sent home after a postitive drugs test ©Getty ImagesMarch 8 - Italian ice sledge hockey player Igor Stella has been sent home from the Winter Paralympics in Sochi after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.


In a statement the Italian Paralympic Association (CIP) claimed traces of the steroid clobetasol came from a cream used by Stella for the treatment of bedsores.

The 32-year-old started using it a month prior to the Games, but did not notify the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

"He is suspended from the Games and in two days there will be proceedings against him where he can explain his reasons," said Italian sledge hockey spokesman Daniela Quargnali.

"He didn't know that it was anabolic steroids in the cream - he got it in a hospital in Milan a month ago, they didn't tell him what it contained."

The 32-year-old has been removed from the Italian Sochi 2014 squad and suspended pending the results of a test on a B-sample.

Stella was a part of the Italian team which finished in seventh place at Vancouver 2010 and helped them to secure their place this time around at last years qualification tournament in Turin. 

Although the first failed test of the Paralympics, today's news follows six failed tests in the latter stages of last month's Olympics, where two ice hockey players and one Italian were among those implicated. 

German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle was the first to test positive, followed by Italian bobsledder William Frullani, Ukrainian cross-country skier Marina Lisogor, Swedish ice hockey player Nicklas Bäckström, Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr and Latvian ice hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs,

Of those six the first five tested positive for banned stimulants while Duerr failed for erythropoietin (EPO).

Canadian Jim Armtrong is another Winter Paralympian to have failed a drugs test ©Toronto Star/Getty ImagesCanadian Jim Armtrong is another Winter Paralympian to have failed a drugs test
©Toronto Star/Getty Images



There have generally been less cases of failed drugs tests at the Winter Paralympics than at the Olympics - but among those who have tested positive in the past is Canadian wheelchair curling skipper Jim Armstrong.

Armstrong claimed that he took the banned drug Tamoxifen by mistake after it had been prescribed for his late wife when she was receiving treatment for breast cancer and had got mixed up with his own medication.

He was originally handed an 18 month ban by the World Curling Federation (WCF) but that was cut to just six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after ruling that the WCF "did not properly exercise its discretion" when passing judgement.

The 62-year-old has since returned to skip the Canadian in defence of their title in Sochi.

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