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Monday 13, Jul 2015

  Claudia Pechstein Hits Back At ISU

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Claudia Pechstein, Germany’s most decorated Winter Olympian, has accused the International Skating Union of having a “sick mindset” after she was criticized by the world governing body of skating of starting a campaign to clear her name of doping allegations.

A two-year-ban was imposed in 2009 on Pechstein, who never failed a drug test, due to irregular blood results. The German speed skater has always denied doping accusations and insisted that her blood values may be irregular because of a genetic condition inherited from her father.

On her website, Pechstein said the ISU bosses live in their own world and this is a world in which fair play is just an empty phrase and the rules of law don’t play a role. The five-time Olympic speedskating champion commented that the world federation bosses announced on their website that there was no evidence that she did not dope and added imagine a defendant being sentenced in a court of law as a car thief because there was no evidence he didn’t steal the car. The 43-year-old went on to say that the International Skating Union likes to get facts mixed up, lets relevant things fall by the wayside and employs methods that are familiar to me from mafia films.

On Thursday, the ISU criticized the massive media campaign of Pechstein and said suggested experts who spoke in her defense were not impartial. The ISU said it felt compelled to issue a statement as public opinion was swinging in the favor of Pechstein after it was ruled by a Munich appeals court in January that Claudia Pechstein could go ahead with a lawsuit seeking damages from the governing body. The ISU strongly questioned the validity of a report commissioned by the German National Olympic Committee (DOSB) and reiterated that the ruling had not cleared Pechstein of doping. The ruling in Munich went against decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Munich ruling allowed the Olympian speed skater to proceed with a lawsuit demanding 4.4 million euros ($4.85 million) in compensation from the world governing body of skating for lost income during her suspension.

In March this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said decision of the German court to allow a lawsuit from Claudia related to her doping ban could upset the entire sporting disciplinary system. Sport’s highest tribunal remarked credibility of sport in general will be threatened if other countries followed suit. In a statement, the CAS said Claudia Pechstein had a fair trial, not only before the CAS Panel but also before the SFT, and the judgment of the SFT, which remains in force, should have settled this matter definitively in 2010. The CAS further added that Claudia Pechstein decided voluntarily to refer her case to CAS and neither challenged the CAS jurisdiction nor the arbitrators comprising the arbitral Panel.

Claudia Pechstein is the most successful all-time Olympic speed skater, male or female and she is the first female Winter Olympian to win medals in five consecutive Olympics (1992–2006). Claudia is the most successful German Winter Olympian of all-time.

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Saturday 11, Jul 2015

  Pechstein Not Cleared Of Doping, Says International Skating Union

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The International Skating Union has blasted a ”massive media campaign” by five-time Olympic speedskating champion Claudia Pechstein and said Pechstein has not been cleared of doping.

The world governing body of skating said it felt compelled to issue a statement as “public opinion” has swung in the favor of Germany’s most decorated Winter Olympian. This was after a Munich appeals court in January ruled that Pechstein could go ahead with a lawsuit seeking damages from the International Skating Union. It was reiterated by the ISU that the Munich court ruling had not cleared Pechstein of doping. The skating body strongly questioned the validity of a report commissioned by the German National Olympic Committee (DOSB) that casted doubt on the doping case.

The ruling in Munich went against the Court of Arbitration for Sport and allowed the German skater to proceed with a lawsuit demanding 4.4 million euros ($4.85 million) in compensation from the International Skating Union for lost income during her suspension. The ISU lodged an appeal with the German Federal Court of Justice and said the independence of the DOSB’s expert commission could be questioned as its chairman – Wolfgang Jelkmann – has testified on the behalf of Pechstein as her main expert.

The ISU statement said it emphatically believes this person cannot possibly be considered impartial or neutral and added the opinions of the commission demonstrated ‘scientific shortcomings’. The ISU also reiterated that the five-time Olympic speedskating champion refused the opportunity to undergo tests with neutral external experts for any possible anomaly or blood disease. The ISU said Pechstein refused to undergo tests for any possible blood disease or anomaly by neutral external experts and decided to undergo tests by her own expert (without any control by or participation of the ISU). This expert concluded that there was no indication for a blood disease or anomaly and this report was presented to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ISU said the German experts now claim that Claudia Pechstein suffers from a certain inherited blood disease and added they cannot agree on the exact type or name of the disease but state that this disease explains every one of Pechstein’s abnormal blood values in the past. It went on to add that even these experts had to admit that the disease is in ‘a mild form.’

It was further suggested by the ISU that even if a mild form of the genetic anomaly was established, it does not and cannot explain the previous significant peaks and excess of variation of the hematologic parameters of Pechstein obtained during the period 2007-09. The ISU added the coincidence that Pechstein had her highest abnormal values frequently at exactly the time of the top world competitions is striking and remains without conclusive explanation by the DOSB commission.

In 2009, Pechstein, who never failed a drug test, was banned for two years due to irregular blood results. The skater denied doping allegations and insisted that her blood values are because of a genetic condition.

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