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German athlete returns abnormal doping test in Sochi

By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - An unnamed German athlete has returned an abnormal doping sample at the Sochi Winter Games and a second sample will be tested later on Friday to determine the presence of banned substances, the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) said.

The DOSB said it was informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday evening and a disciplinary commission would convene later in the day after the athlete's B sample was tested.

"The DOSB was informed on Thursday evening at 21.30 (local time) that one member of its Olympic team had returned an A sample that showed abnormal data," it said in a statement.

More details would be provided after the second test, it added.

The IOC announced before the Olympics it was planning to carry out 2,453 tests during the Games, including 1,269 pre-competition controls, which is a record for a Winter Olympics.

So far no athlete has tested positive for banned drugs at Russia's first Winter Olympics, with the IOC eager to stop cheats from getting to the Games with increased pre-Olympic testing in the months leading up to the event.

The IOC tests all medalists as well as several other finalists for banned substances, while also conducting hundreds more targeted tests based on intelligence.

Drugs-testing vans shadow athletes coming down from the mountains for their medals ceremony in Sochi while athletes can also be tested there for drugs.

After a string of high-profile cases in the past decade, the IOC is eager to prevent the situation where winners who have used drugs still have their moment on the podium before the long and Olympic brand-damaging procedure of stripping medals and re-awarding them.

Samples taken at the Sochi Olympics will also be stored for a decade and re-tested in line with the new World Anti-Doping Code that comes into effect on January 1 2015.

Germany, who are third in the medals table with eight golds and 16 medals in total, sent a total of 154 athletes to Sochi.

There were no doping cases during the 1994 Lillehammer Games, none at Nagano 1998 while seven athletes were caught at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and another seven in Turin in 2006. One athlete tested positive at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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