Paralympic athlete stripped of two gold medals for doping

SALT LAKE CITY, March 12 (Reuters) - Germany's Thomas Oelsner has become the first Paralympian to be stripped of his gold medals after testing positive for the banned substance methenolone, the International Paralympic Committee said on Tuesday.

"He loses his accreditation and must return the gold medal earned on March 8 (for biathlon) as well as on March 10 (for cross country)" the IPC's medical director Bjoern Hedman told a news conference.

Hedler said Oelsner had tested positive after the 7.5 km biathlon event only but had to also give up the cross country medal.

"His test on March 10 was found negative. This could happen if you took a single oral dose before the first test because the secretion period is quite fast," Hedman said.

"The German team claimed there was no way this substance could be found in the body of Mr Oelsner, but could not put forward a reason why this could happen."

Oelsner, who won five gold and four silver medals in previous Paralympic Games, became interested in Paralympics after he injured his arm in a motorbike accident.

20:45 03-12-02