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Fourth-Place Medal

German Olympic Committee says one of its athletes failed doping test

The German Olympic Committee said Friday one of its athletes failed a doping test at the Sochi Games, according to The Associated Press.

The accused Olympian is Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, who competed in biathlon for Team Germany. The committee said in a statement that it was informed Thursday night by the International Olympic Committee, which administers blood and urine tests, that the athlete had a positive test on the ‘‘A" sample. The backup ‘‘B'’ sample will be analyzed Friday.

Sachenbacher-Stehle finished just outside the podium in both of her events, with a fourth place finish in the women's mass start and the mixed relay. As a cross-country skier Sachenbacher-Stehle has won five medals, two gold and three silver at past Olympics.

At the 2006 Torino Olympics Sachenbacher-Stehle was suspended for five days along with seven other cross-country skiers for abnormally high red blood cell counts.

If a medalist is caught with prohibited substances in their system — which ranges from performance enhancers to blood thinners to certain painkillers — any Olympic victory is revoked. (Thus far in Sochi, the German team has won eight gold medals, four silver and four bronze.)

The IOC is conducting 2,453 drug tests in Sochi. It administered 5,051 tests at the London Games in 2012 and 2,149 at Vancouver in 2010. A Russian biathlete, Irina Starykh, withdrew in the days leading up to the Sochi Games because she tested positive for doping.

Last year, IOC president Thomas Bach said the doping tests in Sochi would be "the toughest ever."

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