German hockey player Busch banned two years for refusing doping test

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – World sport’s highest tribunal has banned a German hockey player for two years after he refused to take a doping test for several hours because he was relaxing at home with his girlfriend.

Florian Busch tested negative in March 2008 for banned substances, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned him Tuesday because earlier on the day that he was tested he declined to give a sample when German anti-doping officials arrived unannounced at his home.

“Florian Busch refused to submit to doping control,” the court said in a statement, adding that the Polar Bears Berlin forward can suit up again in February 2011.

Germany coach Uwe Krupp has said that Busch was sharing “a private moment” with his girlfriend when the testing team arrived at his apartment. He submitted himself to testing hours later and tests were negative.

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The 24-year-old Busch was originally fined 5,000 euros (C$8,100), ordered to do 56 hours of community work and given an official warning by Germany’s ice hockey federation. He then played at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada.

But the decision was appealed to CAS by the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose rules equate refusing a test to flunking one. That means a mandatory two-year ban.

“I am very, very surprised that a young national team player who still has everything in front of him is being punished so drastically,” said Erich Kuehnhackl, the vice president of the German Ice Hockey Federation. “This is unbelievable.”

World sport’s fight against doping has become increasingly tough in recent years, leading to complaints from some athletes and sporting bodies that controls have become too intrusive.