A two-year ban on German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, arguably the most high profile doping case at this year's Winter Olympic Games, has been cut to six months, it was announced today.
Sachenbacher-Stehle, a double Olympic gold medallist, filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the International Biathlon Union's (IBU) Anti-Doping Panel to impose the suspension after she tested positive for banned stimulant methylhexanamine at Sochi 2014.
After considering evidence, a CAS Panel has deemed that the adverse analytical finding was caused by contamination and that the athlete's degree of fault was minimal.
Sachenbacher-Stehle's suspension began on the date of her sample collection, February 17, and following today's announcement, effectively concluded on August 16.
The 33-year-old's competitive results between those two dates have all been cancelled.
"In view of the fact that Ms Sachenbacher-Stehle's suspension has now concluded, the Panel has issued its decision today and will provide the full arbitral award, containing the grounds for its decision at a later date," read a CAS statement.
The Panel, composed of Professor Luigi Fumagalli from Italy, Jeffrey Benz from the United States, and Patrick Lafranchi from Switzerland, attended a hearing at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne on Wednesday (November 12).
Sachenbacher-Stehle won cross-country skiing gold medals at Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010 before focusing on the biathlon in recent years.
But, after finishing fourth in the mass start event in Sochi, she tested positive for banned stimulant dimethylamylamine, an alternative term for methylhexanamine, and was sent home by the German team.
Although at the time she blamed contaminated food supplements for the result, she did not challenge the result of the International Olympic Committee Disciplinary Commission.
In July, the IBU confirmed Sachenbacher-Stehle had been handed a two-year ban, backdated to the date of the failed test on February 17.
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