Russian biathlete Irina Starykh withdrew from the Olympics after failing a drug test before the games began. Since her withdrawal, there haven’t been any other failed testers — until today. Italian bobsleigh brakeman William Frullani and a German biathlete, who hasn’t yet been named, have reportedly failed drug tests in Sochi.
Samuele Romanini will replace Frullani in the four-man event this weekend, teaming with Simone Fontana, Francesco Costa, and Simone Bertazzo of the Italian side that is looking for its first gold medal of the Olympics. The medal event for bobsled is on Sunday, the last day of the Games. The 34-year-old Frullani failed a second drug test after testing positive for dimethylpentylamine, which is found in dietary supplements. “The athlete requested that the B sample be tested and that was confirmed as positive, leading to his exclusion from the Italian delegation,” said the Italian Olympic Committee.
The unnamed German athlete is awaiting the results of a B sample and a hearing before the International Olympic Committee’s Disciplinary Commission on Friday. “The results of the B sample and the hearing before the IOC Disciplinary Commission are scheduled for this Friday,” read a German Olympic Sports Confederation statement. “Thereafter, the chef de mission will report on the status of the process.” A second failed test would likely reveal the athlete’s name. Germany is still in the running for the most gold medals at the Olympics this year with eight, two behind leading Norway.
As we noted earlier, the chances for sports dopers to pass unnoticed have, arguably, never been higher, thanks to a hard-to-spot drug called Full Size MGF. Figuring out if — or to what extent — Sochi has been compromised could take years. But seeing as how Olympians were willing to risk taking easily detectable drugs, it seems hard to imagine they are giving this newer, nearly-undetectable one a miss.
VISUAL CONTEXT: THE SUMMER OLYMPICS STRUGGLE MUCH MORE WITH DRUGS