Sochi: The first doping cases to hit the 2014 Sochi Games emerged yesterday after a double gold-medal winning German female biathlete and an Italian bobsledder tested positive for banned substances.
German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, who has won two gold medals at previous Olympic Games, confirmed she had tasted positive, describing it as the “worst nightmare you can imagine”.
Meanwhile, the Italian Olympic Committee said Italian bobsledder William Frullani had tested positive for a banned substance and had already been kicked out of the Sochi Games. The news that a well known athlete as Sachenbacher-Stehle has failed a doping test has caused shock waves in Germany, which for years has prided itself on its tough anti-doping fight.
“I cannot explain how this positive doping test came about,” Sachenbacher-Stehle said in a statement, adding that she had had all her dietary supplements tested in a laboratory.
Reports said that the positive test — carried out on February 17 — may have come about due to contamination from imported energy bars.
“I am living through the worst nightmare that you can imagine,” she added. “I can only assure everyone that I have never knowingly taken a banned substance and will do everything to clear this up so there are no questions,” she added.
Troubled Ukraine win gold
Ukraine yesterday raced to a famous victory in the women’s team biathlon relay, overcoming the trauma of the violence at home to take gold with an inspirational performance.
The team led from the start in the 4x6 km relay race, finishing in 1hr 10min 2.5sec, defeating second-place Russia by 26.4 seconds.