Pechstein must wait for verdict

Updated: November 4, 2009, 1:19 PM ET
Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Five-time Olympic speedskating champion Claudia Pechstein must wait to learn if she has won her appeal against a two-year ban for blood doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Wednesday a ruling in the case, which was expected this week, will be delayed until later this month.

"The CAS panel in charge of this case has decided to issue its final award together with the written reasons," the court said in a statement. "As a consequence, the deliberations and the preparation of the final award will probably be concluded in around two weeks."

The 37-year-old German great had hoped a verdict would clear her to compete at World Cup races in Berlin starting Friday.

CAS gave an interim ruling that allows Pechstein to train but not race competitively.

The International Skating Union banned Pechstein in July, though she never failed a doping test. It said she had abnormal blood samples at the World Allround Championships last season.

The governing body compared samples Pechstein had given since 2000 before banning her until Feb. 9, 2011. Pechstein has denied doping and was supported by the German skating federation at her two-day appeal hearing last month.

Pechstein, who is Germany's most successful Winter Olympic athlete with nine medals -- including five golds -- hopes to compete at her sixth straight games in Vancouver next February if the suspension is overturned.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press