FILE UNDER -- Nordic

Filbrich allowed to compete after red-blood count controversy

Filbrich allowed to compete after red-blood count controversy{mosimage}The German Ski Federation announced Friday that Jens Filbrich, prohibited from competition for five days, can once again participate in races following a blood test showing an authorized haematocrit level.

German national team coach Jochen Bhele said that Filbrich’s haematocrit level, the percentage of red cells found in the blood, was under 17.0, or 50 percent, the maximum concentration authorized by the International Ski Federation.

The Olympic relay runner-up was barred from Sunday’s 15-kilometer freestyle race in Kuusamo after a blood control showing a level of 17,0. The German federation and Filbrich defended the result, saying that the skier had a naturally high level of red blood cells. The federation also said that it had tried to obtain a special status for the 26-year-old so that “a clean athlete could never be prohibited from doing his profession.”

On the other hand, results from doping tests – conducted the day the 50 percent haematocrit level was detected – will not be known for another three weeks.

– fis-ski.com

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