SOCHI, Russia -- German two-time Olympic gold medalist Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani were expelled by their teams from the Winter Olympics Friday after being tested positive for banned substances.
The German Olympic Association DOSB confirmed biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, who has two cross-country team golds and five medals in all, tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine.
Following an International Olympic Committee disciplinary hearing, the 33-year-old athlete was dropped from the German team and arrangements immediately made for her to return home, a statement said.
Sachenbacher-Stehle issued a statement saying she did not knowingly take the stimulant.
"I am experiencing the worst nightmare you can imagine because I cannot at all explain how the positive test has come about," she said through her management.
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said Frullani failed a doping test in the Olympic Village on Feb. 18 for the performance-enhancing drug dymethylpentylamine.
He has been replaced on the four-man team for the competition Saturday and Sunday by reserve Samuele Romanini.
Sachenbacher-Stehle just missed her first biathlon medal in the 12.5km mass start race on Monday when she finished fourth.
She won a team sprint cross-country gold in Vancouver in 2010 and a cross-country relay gold in Salt Lake City in 2002. She also has three silvers between 2002 and 2010.
Germany's chef de mission Michael Vesper said the DOSB backed doping-free sport and had a "zero tolerance" policy.
"Every doping case is a great disappointment but is also proof that the control system is functioning," he said.
At a later evening news conferences Vesper said he was informed of the positive doping test in a letter from IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday evening.
The sample was taken after the biathlon mass start.
"This is an occasion that I have not wished for," he said.
Sachenbacher-Stehle asked for the B-sample to be opened, and this was done in her presence and confirmed the positive test.
Sachenbacher-Stehle "was shocked by the news, the mood in the team is clearly very bad," Vesper said.
"We have always stood for clean sport and that is why quickly and decisively, in conjunction with the athlete's decision, we have excluded her from the Olympic team."
Vesper said the banned substance was in a dietary supplement.
"We have always warned athletes about dietary supplements and the dangers they harbor. She has been taking these dietary supplements for a long time," he said.
She will now face disciplinary proceedings by the International Biathlon Union (IBU).
"There will be a procedure initiated by the IBU and we will see how it goes," he said.
In its statement, the DOSB also said the National Anti-Doping Agency NADA had repeatedly warned athletes against using food supplements which could contain methylhexanamine.
Sachenbacher-Stehle switched from cross-country to biathlon in the 2012-2013 season.
It is not the first time she has been in trouble at the Winter Olympics.
At the beginning of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, she received a five-day suspension due to a high haemoglobin level.
She was one of 12 athletes given five-day suspensions for health reasons after the International Ski Federation (FIS) decided they could not safely compete as a result of abnormally high red blood cell counts.
The IOC said in Sochi it was planning to carry out 2,453 tests, including 1,269 pre-Games controls.
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