Published February 21, 2014
SOCHI, Russia – Two Olympic athletes—one from Germany, another from Italy— will be sent home from the Sochi games after failing doping tests.
German Olympic officials said Friday that biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle has been disqualified from the games after testing positive twice for the stimulant methylhexanamine. Italian bobsledder William Frullani will also be kicked out of the games after a positive drug test Monday.
Sachenbacher-Stehle has been removed from the team and is being sent home, the German Olympic Committee said. The skier competed in five events in Sochi but did not win any medals. Her best results were two fourth-place finishes, in the 12.5K mass start and the mixed relay. She also finished 11th in the 7.5k sprint, 27th in the 10K and 20th in the 15K.
Italian Olympic officials said the International Olympic Committee informed them that Frullani came up positive for the banned stimulant dimetylpentylamine in a test taken in the Olympic Village Tuesday. Frullani asked for a backup test that was taken Friday and "confirmed the positive result, resulting in his exclusion from the Italian delegation," Italian Olympic officials said.
Samuele Romanini will replace Frullani as the brakeman for the four-man bobsled race, which begins Saturday.
Dimethylamphetamine is classified as a "specified stimulant" on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. Specified stimulants cover drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties. Italian Olympic officials told the Associated Press that it believed Frullani purchased the stimulant on the Internet from the U.S., since it’s not available in Italy.
The IOC is conducting 2,453 drug tests in Sochi, a record for the Winter Games. The majority of tests are in strength and endurance sports, notably cross-country skiing and biathlon, events where the use of EPO and other blood-boosting drugs can aid stamina.
The IOC also stores Olympic doping samples to allow for retesting when new methods become available.
Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission, said last weekend that he was not surprised there had been no doping cases until then.
"It's expected that people don't cheat and those who do are not here," Ljungqvist said, noting that only one positive case was recorded at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
A Russian biathlete, Irina Starykh, withdrew from the Sochi Olympics because she failed a doping test before the games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.