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Germany

German Paralympic Basketball Player Sent Home for Doping

German wheelchair basketball player Ahmet Coskun has failed a doping test ahead of the Paralympics and has been sent back to Germany, though he says he was fighting baldness.

Silver medalist Germany's Manuela Schmermund, left, gold medalist Slovakia's Veronika Vadovicova, center, and bronze medalist Puerto Rico's Nilda Gomez Lopez hold hands during the medal ceremony for the Women's Shooting R-2 10 M air rifle standing, during the Paralympic games in Beijing Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008.

Medal winners at the Paralympics have been put in the shade by cheats on drugs

A statement from the German National Paralympic Committee said that a urine sample taken from Coskun on Aug. 23 showed the presence of Finasteride.

Finasteride is on a list of banned substances because, according to the statement, although it does not enhance performance itself, it can be used to conceal drugs that do. The substance is, however, also found in anti-hair loss treatments, which is what Coskun claimed he was using it for according to the statement.

"I was thinking about my hair and had no idea that the drug, which is against hair loss, contained a banned substance. I'm very upset. I never intended to do doping," the statement quoted 33-year-old Coskun as saying.

It is the second incidence of doping ahead of the Paralympics opening ceremony after Pakistani power lifter Naveed Ahmed Butt tested positive for the steroid methandienone metabolites on Tuesday Sep. 9.

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