The Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung broke the "positive doping test for Hannes Hempel" news yesterday and earlier today the German triathlon website tri-mag.de shared the new with their readers. After a different doping scandal back in 2009 it appears trouble is following Hannes Hempel.
"Today I received an e-mail from NADA Austria. Much to my surprise they informed me that I tested positive for testosterone during a training control on March 8th," said Hempel on Wednesday according to the Kleine Zeitung.
Hempel was in the news in 2009 accused of supplying EPO to disgraced road Pro Bernhard Kohl and triathlete Lisa Hütthaler, and in June of 2010 he received a 4-year ban that retroactively started in May of 2008. Initially he had vehemently denied involvement in any doping affair and had released the following statement back then. "Jealous people are making amateurish attempts to give me a bad name. That makes me very, very sad as I am completely against any form of doping. I will respond to this with victories." But eventually he cooperated with officials and revealed other involved parties that led to more convictions and subsequently his ban ended a few months early on January 10, 2012.
On April 20th of this year Hempel finished 4th at the 4th International Raiffeisen Mils-Duathlon in Austria and he is currently on the start list for the May 11, 2013 Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, but it is not very likely now that he will actually race there.
The 39-year old Austrian will be otherwise busy and might be feeling a sense of déjà vu. "After the media scandal in 2009 I wanted to have nothing to do with doping," said Hempel. "I have been told that my testosterone level is too high. I do not know more. My athletic ambitions are limited to me having a calm end to my career. I have no idea how this positive test occurred."
The Kleine Zeitung further reported that Hempel further also stated that the request for a B sample would depend on the circumstances and the costs involved.
"Based on §6 Anti-Doping Bundesgesetz (Austrian Anti Doping Law) idF BGBl I 146/2009 (ADBG) the athlete is responsible for the cost of the B sample. If the result of the B sample does not agree with the result of the A sample, the fee will be reimbursed," said NADA Austria Quality Manager David Müller in an e-mail to slowtwitch when we inquired about the procedure. He added, "How much it costs is something I can't tell you as it really depends on the type of analysis used and if the athlete in addition also requests a full documentation of the A sample and the B sample."
Hempel added a statement to his website hanneshempel.at