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German speedskating champion loses doping ban case

January 26, 2010 |  9:06 am

Claudia Germany's Claudia Pechstein will not be competing in Vancouver.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal denied the five-time Olympic speedskating champion's request to have her two-year ban for alleged blood doping temporarily suspended, meaning she will not compete in next month's Winter Olympic Games.

Pechstein, 37, said she wasn't surprised by the ruling and told her fans the decision wouldn't mark the end of her career.

Pechstein, Germany's most-successful Winter Olympian with nine gold medals, has denied doping.

The World Anti-Doping Agency applauded the ruling.

"It is an important case, and it is one that shows that there are more ways of finding how people are using doping to cheat,"  David Howman, WADA general director, told the Associated Press.

Abnormal blood samples taken from Pechstein by the International Skating Union last year led to her suspension. An arbitrary panel in November rejected her claims that the blood readings were related to a congenital medical condition.

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Claudia Pechstein. Credit: Rainer Jensen / Associated Press