Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Claudia Pechstein

Claudia Pechstein

Ask a question about 'Claudia Pechstein'
Start a new discussion about 'Claudia Pechstein'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Claudia Pechstein (born 22 February 1972) is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 speed skater
Speed skating
Speed skating, or speedskating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in traveling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating...

. With a total of five Olympic gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

s, two silver
Silver medal
A silver medal is a medal awarded to the second place finisher of contests such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and contests with similar formats....

, and two bronze medal
Bronze medal
A bronze medal is a medal awarded to the third place finisher of contests such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The practice of awarding bronze third place medals began at the 1904 Olympic Games in St...

s, she is the most successful German Winter Olympian
Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating...

 of all time. Pechstein is the first female Winter Olympian to win medals in five consecutive Olympics (1992–2006), and she won the gold medal in the women's 5,000 meter race in three consecutive Olympics (1994–2002), and the silver medal in the fourth (2006). In the 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. This marked the second time Italy hosted the Olympic Winter Games, the first being the VII Olympic Winter...

 in Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Pechstein also won a gold medal in the women's team pursuit.

Claudia Pechstein was born in East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

. She held a world record on the 5,000 m track with the time 6:46.91 achieved on the Utah Olympic Oval
Utah Olympic Oval
The Utah Olympic Oval, an indoor speed skating oval built for the 2002 Winter Olympics, is located southwest of Salt Lake City, in Kearns, Utah. The Oval hosted the long track speed skating events for the 2002 games. Inside the facility the 400-meter skating track surrounds two international sized...

 in Salt Lake City on 23 February 2002, which was beaten by Martina Sáblíková
Martina Sáblíková
Martina Sáblíková is a Czech speedskater, specializing in long distance races. She is an Olympic gold medal winner and a multiple World champion. She is the elder sister of fellow speedskater Milan Sáblík.-Career:As a junior, Sáblíková already achieved some notable results during international...

 on the same oval five years later.

Pechstein is a sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

 in the German Federal Police
German Federal Police
The Bundespolizei is a uniformed federal police force in Germany. It is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior...

 and trains at the force's sports training centre at Bad Endorf
Bad Endorf
Bad Endorf is a municipality in the district of Rosenheim in Bavaria in Germany. The relatively small town is located about 15 km outside of Rosenheim and is in close proximity to the Chiemsee lake and its larger shore towns, Prien, Gstadt, and Seebruck....


As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings, Pechstein is aiming for an Olympic return, this time as a cyclist. "I will start in the individual pursuit at the German Track Championships from July 6-10 in Berlin," she said. "I am also planning to race the individual sprint or the 500-meter time trial. I trust I can do this because as a skater I've trained a lot on the bike. I have nothing to lose. I don't know how this kind of competition works, so this alone is really exciting."

Two-year ban because of accusation of blood doping

After the World Championships in Norway in February 2009
2009 World Allround Speed Skating Championships
The 2009 World Allround Speed Skating Championships were held at the indoor ice rink of the Vikingskipet Olympic Arena in Hamar on 7 and 8 February 2009.The Czech Martina Sáblíková and the Dutch Sven Kramer became world champion....

, the International Skating Union
International Skating Union
The International Skating Union is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands in 1892, making it one of the oldest international...

 accused Pechstein of blood doping
Blood doping
Blood doping is the practice of boosting the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream in order to enhance athletic performance. Because such blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, a higher concentration in the blood can improve an athlete’s aerobic capacity and...

 and banned her from all competitions for two years. This ban was based on irregular levels of reticulocyte
Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells, typically composing about 1% of the red cells in the human body.Reticulocytes develop and mature in the red bone marrow and then circulate for about a day in the blood stream before developing into mature red blood cells. Like mature red blood cells,...

s in her blood. These levels were highest during the Calgary World Cup 2007
2006–07 Speed Skating World Cup
The 2006–2007 Speed Skating World Cup was a multi race tournament over a season of speed skating. The season began on 10 November 2006 and lasted until 4 March 2007. The World Cup was organised by the ISU, who also run world cups and championships in short track speed skating and figure skating.-...

 and the Hamar World Championships in 2009; elevated levels were also found during a number of other competitions and training spot checks.

Pechstein denied that she had doped and appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Court of Arbitration for Sport
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an international arbitration body set up to settle disputes related to sport. Its headquarters are in Lausanne and its courts are located in New York, Sydney and Lausanne, Switzerland...

 (CAS) in Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

, claiming among other things that she has an inherited condition explaining the abnormal measurements. The court affirmed the ban in November 2009, finding no evidence for an inherited condition in the expert testimony provided by Pechstein. This was the first case of doping based on circumstantial evidence alone; no forbidden substances were ever found during her repeated tests.

In December 2009 she asked the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland
Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland
The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland is the supreme court of Switzerland. It is located in Lausanne.According to the Constitution of Switzerland, the court has jurisdiction over violations of:*federal law;*public international law;*intercantonal law;...

 for an injunction and was allowed to participate at a single 3000m race in Salt Lake City, so that she could qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

 should her appeal of the ban be successful. She finished 13th in the race on 11 December but would have needed a place among the top 8 to qualify for the Olympics.

In January 2010 the Swiss Federal Supreme Court refused to temporarily suspend Pechstein's ban for the Olympics. On February 19, 2010 the CAS ad-hoc panel at the Vancouver Olympics rejected Pechstein's last minute appeal to be admitted to the ice skating team events.

In February 2010, Pechstein filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland against the International Skating Union, alleging trial fraud.

On March 15, 2010 Gerhard Ehninger, head of the German Society for Hematology and Oncology, said that an evaluation of the case points to a light form of a blood anemia called spherocytosis
Spherocytosis is an auto-hemolytic anemia characterized by the production of red blood cells , or erythrocytes, that are sphere-shaped, rather than bi-concave disk shaped. Spherocytes are found in hereditary spherocytosis and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.It almost always refers to hereditary...

 - apparently inherited from her father. Pechstein attempted to use this new evidence in her appeal before the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland. The International Skating Union issued a press release explaining their opposition to this appeal.

Pechstein stood to lose her position with the German Federal Police should blood doping have been proved "beyond reasonable doubt". Disciplinary proceedings against her were halted in August 2010 because no such proof was available. Pechstein applied for unpaid leave in order to be able to continue her training, which was denied. As a result, she suffered a nervous breakdown in September 2010.

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court issued its final ruling on September 28, 2010, rejecting Pechstein's appeal and confirming the ban. Pechstein returned to competition in February 2011.
She then won the Bronze Medal in the 2011 World Championships on the 5000m course, only behind World Champion Martina Sáblíková
Martina Sáblíková
Martina Sáblíková is a Czech speedskater, specializing in long distance races. She is an Olympic gold medal winner and a multiple World champion. She is the elder sister of fellow speedskater Milan Sáblík.-Career:As a junior, Sáblíková already achieved some notable results during international...

 from the Czech Republic and her team mate Stephanie Beckert
Stephanie Beckert
Stephanie Beckert is a long-track speed skater from Germany. Her specialty is the 5000 meter. She had a fourth place standing at the 2008–09 Speed Skating World Cup/3000&5000 m Women...


Skating record

Winter Olympics World Cup
  • 2002 Olympics
    Speed skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics
    Speed skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics, was held over fourteen days, from 9 February to 23 February. Ten events were contested at the Utah Olympic Oval.-Medal table:-Men's events:-Women's events:-Records:...

    • 3000 m - 1st
    • 5000 m - 1st

  • 1998 Olympics
    Speed skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics
    -500m:February 9/February 10, 1998-1,000m:February 15, 1998-1,500m:February 10, 1998-5,000m:February 8, 1998-10,000m:February 17, 1998-500m:February 13/February 14, 1998-1,000m:February 19, 1998-1,500m:February 16, 1998-3,000m:...

    • 3000 m - 2nd
    • 5000 m - 1st

  • 1994 Olympics
    Speed skating at the 1994 Winter Olympics
    The 1994 Winter Olympic Games Speed Skating results.-500 m:Monday February 14, 1994 — 40 competitors from 16 countries-1,000 m:Friday February 18, 1994 — 43 competitors from 17 countries-1,500 m:...

    • 3000 m - 3rd
    • 5000 m - 1st

  • 1992 Olympics
    Speed skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics
    The Speed skating competition during the 1992 Winter Olympic Games was held at the Anneau de Vitesse located next to the Théâtre des Cérémonies, a couple of kilometers west of downtown Albertville...

    • 3000 m - 3rd
  • 1500 Meters
    • 2003: 2nd
    • 2002: 2nd
    • 2001: 3rd
    • 2000: 2nd
    • 1999: 2nd
    • 1998: 2nd

    • 3000/5000 Meters
      • 2004: 1st
      • 2003: 1st
      • 2002: 2nd
      • 2001: 2nd
      • 2000: 2nd
      • 1999: 2nd
      • 1998: 2nd

    External links