Claudia Pechstein

Claudia Pechstein (born 22 February 1972) is a German speed skater. She has won five Olympic gold medals.[1] With a total of nine Olympic medals, five gold, two silver and two bronze, she was the most successful Olympic speed skater, male or female, of all-time, until the gold medal of Ireen Wüst in the 2018 Winter Olympics of PyeongChang, and also the most successful German Winter Olympian of all-time. After the World Championships in Norway in February 2009, Pechstein was accused of blood doping and banned from all competitions for two years.

Claudia Pechstein
Claudia Pechstein 2.jpg
Personal information
NationalityGerman
Born (1972-02-22) 22 February 1972 (age 48)
East Berlin, East Germany
Sport
Country Germany
SportSpeed skating
Turned pro1988

BiographyEdit

Pechstein was born in East Berlin. She held a world record on the 5000 m track with the time 6:46.91 achieved on the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City on 23 February 2002, which was beaten by Martina Sáblíková on the same oval five years later. Pechstein is a sergeant in the German Federal Police and trains at the force's sports training centre at Bad Endorf.

Pechstein is the first female Winter Olympian to win medals in five consecutive Olympics (1992–2006), She won the gold medal in the women's 5000 metres race in three consecutive Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002), with bronze in the first (1992) and the silver medal in the fifth (2006). In the 3000 metres, she won three medals, gold (2002), silver (1998) and bronze (1994). She won her fifth Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. After missing the 2010 Vancouver Games, she made her sixth Olympic appearance at the 2014 Sochi Games, finishing fourth in the 3000 metres and fifth in the 5000 metres. In 2018 she appeared in Pyeongchang Games.

As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings,[2] 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 6 to 10 July 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 blood dopingEdit

 
Claudia Pechstein (2007)
Chronology of the dispute involving Claudia Pechstein and the International Skating Union (ISU):[3]
2009 ISU found the athlete guilty of violation of anti-doping provisions and imposed a two-year suspension
the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed the sanction
2010 the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed the appeal against the CAS award
the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rejected the request for judicial review filed by the athlete
2014 the Munich Regional Court affirmed its jurisdiction and partially upheld the claim against the ISU
2015 the Higher Regional Court of Munich partially confirmed the decision of the Munich Regional Court
2016 the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld the appeal filed by the ISU and recognized the jurisdiction of CAS
Claudia Pechstein lodged an application for review at the German Constitutional Court[4]
2018 the ECHR rejected the application lodged by the athlete[5][6]
2019 the ECHR rejected the request for referral to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR submitted by the athlete.[7]

After the World Championships in Norway in February 2009, the International Skating Union accused Pechstein of blood doping and banned her from all competitions for two years. This ban was based on irregular levels of reticulocytes in her blood. These levels were highest during the Calgary World Cup 2007 and the Hamar World Championships in 2009; elevated levels were also found during a number of other competitions and training spot checks.[8]

In "Autonomy and Biopower in the Anti-Doping Establishment: A Rogue Agent of Governmentality," sport historian Daniel Rosenke reviews Pechstein's case, citing it as an example of the contentious nature of the biological passport.[9] After collecting sample data on the skater for a period of nearly nine years, the ISU banned Pechstein from competition for an above threshold fluctuation in reticulocyte percentage, a blood parameter used in passport profiling. Notably, Pechstein argued her ‘%Retics’ of 3.49 fell into the normal range for women her age, and asserted that the International Skating Union’s (ISU) threshold limit of 2.4 was far too low, basing this claim on a confluence of data in medical science. Two weeks following the 3.49 reading, Pechstein was tested again at 1.37, a difference considered by the ISU to be an unequivocal sign of doping.[10] To defend herself, Pechstein cast doubt upon the accuracy of the ‘%Retics’ measurement, citing both her hemoglobin and hematocrit levels as exculpatory evidence. In short, she questioned the reliability and accuracy of the entire procedure's longitudinal sample collection, which ultimately led to her violation of the ISU's anti-doping code. Finally, Pechstein interrogated the burden of proof to be to be met by the ISU in proving a doping violation. She suggested, as the CAS pointed out, that "the ISU must convince the panel (of arbitrators) to a level very close to ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that all alternative causes for the increase of %Retics can be excluded, and that additionally, the [a]thlete had an intention to use blood doping."[11] An important consideration here is that the burden of proof should be proportional the severity of the accusation (according to the World Anti-Doping Code), and in legal terms, should fall closer to beyond a reasonable doubt than the ‘comfortable satisfaction’ of the panel. With the information presented, it seems Pechstein’s assertion was valid, and cast serious doubt on the so-called ‘clear-cut’ positive described by the ISU.

Pechstein denied that she had doped and appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, 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.[12] This was the first case of doping based on circumstantial evidence alone; no forbidden substances were ever found during her repeated tests.[8][13]

In December 2009 she asked the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland for an injunction and was allowed to participate at a single 3000 m race in Salt Lake City, so that she could qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver 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.[14]

In January 2010 the Swiss Federal Supreme Court refused to temporarily suspend Pechstein's ban for the Olympics.[15] On 19 February 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.[16]

 
Pechstein in 2015

In February 2010, Pechstein filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland against the International Skating Union, alleging trial fraud.[17]

On 15 March 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 – apparently inherited from her father.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court issued its final ruling on 28 September 2010, rejecting Pechstein's appeal and confirming the ban.[22] Pechstein returned to competition in February 2011. She next won the bronze medal in the 2011 World Championships in the 5000 m race, finishing behind world champion Martina Sáblíková from the Czech Republic, and her teammate Stephanie Beckert.

After this, Pechstein attempted to charge the International Skating Union for damages before German courts. However, on 7 June 2016, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany rejected her appeal by a final ruling. Her lawyer then announced that a constitutional complaint will be filed before the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.[23]

Skating recordsEdit

Personal recordsEdit

Personal records[24]
Women's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 38.99 18 March 2006 Olympic Oval, Calgary
1000 m 1:16.00 24 February 2007 Olympic Oval, Calgary
1500 m 1:54.31 17 November 2007 Olympic Oval, Calgary
3000 m 3:57.35 18 March 2006 Olympic Oval, Calgary
5000 m 6:46.91 23 February 2002 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City Current Olympic and German record.[25][26]

She is currently in 6th position in the adelskalender.[27]

World recordsEdit

World records[28]
Women's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
3000 m 4:07.13 13 December 1997 Vikingskipet, Hamar World record until beaten by Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann on 14 March 1998.[29]
5000 m 6:59.61 20 February 1998 M-Wave, Nagano World record until beaten by Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann on 28 March 1998.[30]
3000 m 3:59.26 2 March 2001 Olympic Oval, Calgary World record until beaten by herself on 10 February 2002.[29]
3000 m 3:57.70 10 February 2002 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City World record until beaten by Cindy Klassen on 12 November 2005.[29] Still current Olympic record.[25]
5000 m 6:46.91 23 February 2002 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City World record until beaten by Martina Sáblíková on 11 March 2007.[30] Still current Olympic and German record.[25][26]
Team pursuit 2:56.04 12 November 2005 Olympic Oval, Calgary World record (with Daniela Anschütz and Anni Friesinger) until beaten by Kristina Groves, Christine Nesbitt and Brittany Schussler on 6 December 2009.[31]

Olympic recordsEdit

Olympic records
Women's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
3000 m 3:57.70 10 February 2002 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City Current Olympic record.[25]
5000 m 6:46.91 23 February 2002 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City Current Olympic and German record.[25][26]

ResultsEdit

World Cup overall World Cup medals Overall medals
  • 1500 meters
    • 2003: 2nd
    • 2002: 2nd
    • 2001: 3rd
    • 2000: 2nd
    • 1999: 2nd
    • 1998: 2nd
  • 3000/5000 meters
    • 2012: 3rd
    • 2008: 2nd
    • 2007: 3rd
    • 2006: 2nd
    • 2005: 1st
    • 2004: 1st
    • 2003: 1st
    • 2002: 2nd
    • 2001: 2nd
    • 2000: 2nd
    • 1999: 2nd
    • 1998: 2nd
    • 1996: 2nd
  • Mass start
    • 2012: 2nd
  • 1500 meters
    • 1st: -->6
    • 2nd: ->13
    • 3rd: -->9
  • 3000 meters
    • 1st: ->14
    • 2nd: ->25
    • 3rd: -->7
  • 5000 meters
    • 1st: -->6
    • 2nd: -->10
    • 3rd: -->4
  • Mass start
    • 1st: -->2
    • 2nd: -->2
    • 3rd: -->1
  • Combination
    • 1st: -->0
    • 2nd: -->1
    • 3rd: -->0
  • Team pursuit
    • 1st: -->4
    • 2nd: -->2
    • 3rd: -->3
  • Total medals
    • 1st: ->32
    • 2nd: ->53
    • 3rd: ->24
All: ->109
  • Olympics
    • 1st: -->5
    • 2nd: -->2
    • 3rd: -->2
  • World Champion Single
    • 1st: -->5
    • 2nd: ->12
    • 3rd: -->12
  • World Champion Overall
    • 1st: -->1
    • 2nd: -->8
    • 3rd: -->2
  • World Cup
    • 1st: ->32
    • 2nd: ->53
    • 3rd: ->24
All: ->158
  • updated 15 Feb 2015

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[28]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Claudia Pechstein". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Pechstein Considers Cycling". Around the Rings. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Media release. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejects the request of Claudia Pechstein to refer her case to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR. The matter PECHSTEIN/MUTU/CAS/SWITZERLAND is now over and the ECHR judgment of 2 October 2018 becomes final and binding" (pdf). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 5 February 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Noch kein Termin für Pechstein beim Bundesverfassungsgericht". www.bz-berlin.de (in German). B.Z./DPA. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  5. ^ European Court of Human Rights (2 October 2018). "CASE OF MUTU AND PECHSTEIN v. SWITZERLAND (Applications nos. 40575/10 and 67474/10). JUDGMENT". Council of Europe. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  6. ^ "The procedures followed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport complied with the right to a fair hearing, apart from the refusal to hold a public hearing" (pdf). Registry of the European Court of Human Rights. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  7. ^ Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights (5 February 2019). "Grand Chamber Panel's decisions". hudoc.echr.coe.int. HUDOC - European Court of Human Rights. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Sportgericht urteilt gegen Pechstein", sueddeutsche.de (in German), 25 November 2009, archived from the original on 28 November 2009, retrieved 26 November 2009
  9. ^ Rosenke, Daniel. "Autonomy and Biopower in the Anti-Doping Establishment: A Rogue Agent of Governmentality". LA84. LA84 Foundation. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  10. ^ McArdle, David (2011). Longitudinal profiling, sports arbitration and the woman who had nothing to lose. London: Taylor and Francis. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  11. ^ Charlish, Peter (2011). "The biological passport: closing the net on anti-doping". Marquette Sports Law Review. 22 (1): 66. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  12. ^ CAS Arbitral Award Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 25 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Olympiasiegerin Pechstein wegen Blutdopings gesperrt", Spiegel Online (in German), 3 July 2009
  14. ^ "Pechstein fails Olympia mark, vows to fight on", Earth Times, 15 February 2010
  15. ^ "Pechstein loses last appeal, will miss Olympics", USA Today, 26 January 2010
  16. ^ "Sportgericht lehnt Pechstein-Antrag ab", Spiegel Online (in German), 19 February 2010
  17. ^ "Pechstein zitiert E-Mail und beantragt Startrecht", Spiegel Online (in German), 15 February 2010
  18. ^ "Doctors argue Claudia Pechstein's abnormal blood levels caused by hereditary anomaly", The Canadian Press, 15 March 2010, archived from the original on 6 July 2011
  19. ^ ISU Position in the Pechstein Case Archived 12 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 18 May 2010.
  20. ^ Disziplinarverfahren gegen Polizeihauptmeisterin Claudia Pechstein eingestellt Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Bundesministerium des Inneren, 16 August 2010.(in German)
  21. ^ Kritik an de Maizière statt Antritt zum Dienst, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 15 September 2010. (in German)
  22. ^ Bundesgericht weist Revisionsgesuch der Eisschnellläuferin Claudia Pechstein ab Archived 2 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Medienmitteilung des Bundesgerichts, 1 October 2010. (in German)
  23. ^ "Eisschnellläuferin: Claudia Pechstein scheitert am BGH". Spiegel Online. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Claudia Pechstein". SpeedskatingResults.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  25. ^ a b c d e "Olympic Records". SpeedskatingResults.com. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  26. ^ a b c "National Records – Germany (GER)". www.speedskatingresults.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Adelskalendern". evertstenlund.se. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Claudia Pechstein". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  29. ^ a b c "Evolution of the world record 3000 meters Women". www.speedskatingstats.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Evolution of the world record 5000 meters Women". www.speedskatingstats.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  31. ^ "Evolution of the world record Team pursuit Women". www.speedskatingstats.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016.

External linksEdit

Records
Preceded by
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
Women's 3000 m speed skating world record
13 December 1997 – 14 March 1998
2 March 2001 – 12 November 2005
Succeeded by
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
  Cindy Klassen
Preceded by
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
Women's 5000 m speed skating world record
20 February 1998 – 28 March 1998
23 February 2002 – 11 March 2007
Succeeded by
  Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
  Martina Sáblíková
Preceded by
  Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen
Women's team pursuit speed skating world record
12 November 2005 – 6 December 2009
with Daniela Anschütz and Anni Friesinger
Succeeded by
  Kristina Groves, Christine Nesbitt, Brittany Schussler