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German federation takes Filbrich case to Court of Arbitration for Sport

German federation takes Filbrich case to Court of Arbitration for Sport{mosimage}FRANKFURT, Germany – The German Ski Federation is taking the case of cross-country skier Jens Filbrich to sport’s highest court, hoping to prove the skier has naturally high levels of haematocrit and get him a special exemption to compete.

”We don’t have any other choice left,” federation general secretary Thomas Pfueller said Monday.

He said a telephone conference between German officials and International Ski Federation representatives had brought no results. FIS had refused a special exemption for Filbrich at the start of the season.

Pfueller said the DSV would send the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week.

Filbrich was prevented from racing the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle World Cup cross-country ski race last month in Kuusamo, Finland, after giving a haematocrit level reading of 17 – the limit permitted by the FIS.

FIS then suspended Filbrich for five days.
The DSV conducted its own doping test and said Filbrich passed it. The skier competed this weekend in Canada.

An elevated haematocrit level is an indicator, though not proof, of the use of banned blood-boosting substances, such as EPO (erythropoietin), which works by boosting the oxygen-rich red-blood cells and thus allowing muscles to work for longer and recuperate better.

Pfueller said the FIS had known for a long time that Filbrich has naturally high levels of haematocrit.

– The Associated Press

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