VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Five-times Olympic speed skating champion Claudia Pechstein’s dreams of a sixth Winter Games were snuffed out for good on Thursday when the German’s appeal to be allowed to skate in Vancouver was thrown out.
The 37-year-old’s last-minute bid to have a doping ban overturned was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which said it did not have the jurisdiction to re-hear her case.
Pechstein wanted her case reviewed by the CAS ad hoc division on site in Vancouver after CAS in Lausanne had confirmed her two-year ban in November last year and the Swiss Federal Tribunal had dismissed her appeal against CAS.
“Claudia Pechstein — and her lawyer — have been advised by the Panel that the CAS ad hoc division was not the proper forum for such action,” CAS said in a statement, extinguishing her slim remaining hope.
Pechstein was banned by the International Skating Union (ISU) in July 2009 backdated to February last year.
She never failed a drugs test but her blood showed abnormal values in a series of tests, ISU said.
Pechstein was allowed to continue training but not allowed to compete. Her ban will run until February 2011.
The athlete, however, has maintained she had never tested positive for banned substances and that the test results were due to testing mistakes and sample mix-ups.
Pechstein is her country’s most successful winter Olympic champion with five golds, two silvers and two bronze medals.
Editing by Jon Bramley; To comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org