BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian hammer thrower Krisztian Pars, the 2012 Olympic champion, has been banned until July 2019 because of a doping violation.
According to the Hungarian Athletics Federation, a non-performance-enhancing substance was detected in a urine sample taken Jan. 13 in his home city of Szombathely.
The 36-year-old Pars said Tuesday that he is “indescribably ashamed” about the incident, blaming it on “a bad decision made during a very difficult time in my career and life.”
Pars, a four-time Olympian, was seventh in Rio and 14th at the 2017 World Championships.
Officials accepted his argument that the banned substance got into his body during the offseason and that it does not have a positive effect on sporting performance.
The federation’s secretary general Marton Gyulai called it “a sad day for Hungarian athletics.”
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With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.