Speedskater Pechstein loses appeal to compete in Vancouver | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.01.2010
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Speedskater Pechstein loses appeal to compete in Vancouver

German speedskating champion Claudia Pechstein has failed in a last-ditch attempt to get her doping ban suspended. The 37-year-old German will now not be allowed to compete in next month’s winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Claudia Pechstein at the World Cup in Erfurt, Germany in January 2009

German speedskater Claudia Pechstein is determined to clear her name

Reigning Olympic speedskating champion Claudia Pechstein has lost her appeal to be allowed to compete at next month's Vancouver games. Switzerland's Supreme Court has refused to suspend a two-year ban, imposed last year, after Pechstein's blood tests showed abnormal readings.

Pechstein, who insists she has never taken banned substances, has been trying to overturn the ban, which was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last November. The International Skating Union (ISU) had imposed the ban in July 2009.

"This decision comes as no surprise," her lawyer Simon Bergmann said in a statement. "We will now focus on the appeal. We obviously cannot enforce a participation in the Games but we can hopefully have the ban lifted."

Pechstein is Germany's most successful winter athlete, with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals under her belt. She has said in the past that she was prepared to take her case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Editor: Rob Turner

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