SOCHI, Russia — A top German biathlete and an Italian bobsledder were kicked out of the Sochi Olympics on Friday in the first doping cases of the Winter Games.
Former two-time Olympic gold medalist Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine in both her “A’’ and “B’’ samples, the German Olympic Committee said.
The committee said she has been removed from the team and was being sent home.
Sachenbacher-Stehle – winner of two golds and three silvers in cross-country skiing at previous games – blamed the positive test on a nutritional supplement.
“I am going through the worst nightmare that you can imagine, because I am unable to explain at all how there could be a positive test,” she said in a statement.
The Italian Olympic Committee, meanwhile, announced that bobsledder William Frullani was ejected from the games after testing positive for the banned stimulant dimetylpentylamine on Tuesday.
Sachenbacher-Stehle, who switched from cross-country to biathlon two years ago, competed in five events in Sochi but did not win any medals. The 33-year-old German was tested after Monday’s mass start race. Her backup sample was tested on Friday and confirmed the original finding. In the Italian case, CONI told The Associated Press that it believed Frullani, a former decathlete, purchased the stimulant on the Internet from the United States, since it is not available in Italy. The IOC is conducting 2,453 drug tests in Sochi, a record for the Winter Games.
The IOC also stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years to allow for retesting when new methods become available.