Updated: Saturday, 22 February 2014 23:56 | By Agence France-Presse

Hirscher struggles in slalom, third doping case hits Sochi

Marcel Hirscher was struggling to add Olympic slalom gold to his world title on Saturday while the penultimate day of the Sochi Games witnessed a third positive dope test.


Hirscher struggles in slalom, third doping case hits Sochi

Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during the Men's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom run 2, at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, during the Sochi Winter Olympics, on February 19, 2014 - by Fabrice Coffrini

Hirscher, 24, a two-time overall World Cup winner, was down in ninth place after the first run with compatriot and two-time world champion Mario Matt in the lead ahead of the floodlit second leg.

The 34-year-old Matt crossed the finish line with a time of 46.70sec, ahead of Sweden's slalom bronze medallist from Vancouver, Andre Myhrer, at 0.45sec.

Italy's Stefano Gross and another Swede, Mattias Hargin, were joint third at 0.75sec with one more run still to go.

Hirscher, more than a second off the pace, could not explain where he had lost time on the first run.

"That's my personal maximum today and in these conditions. I made no mistakes," he said.

Asked what he needed to make the podium in the second run, he laughed: "A different technique than mine!"

Away from the slopes, the Olympics were hit by a third doping case after Ukrainian cross country skier Marina Lisogor tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine.

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee said Lisogor, 30, told a disciplinary hearing that she had unwittingly consumed the banned substance in a medicine.

"I ask forgiveness from those who will see this and be disappointed or upset. But there was no intent or desire to take a banned substance," she said.

"It is stupid, accidental. I am sorry there is a scandal but there was no bad intent."

The case came a day after news of failed tests for German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani.

Meanwhile, South Korea want the International Skating Union (ISU) to review whether the decision to award women's figure skating gold to Russia's Adelina Sotnikova rather than national heroine Kim Yu-Na was accurate.

Defending Olympic champion Kim was relegated to the silver medal position by the Russian 17-year-old in Thursday's free skate despite putting in an error-free performance.

It was a decision that prompted accusations of judges being influenced by the passionate support of the crowd.

"The South Korean team in Sochi has politely requested the Korean Skating Union to ask ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta to review the women's figure skating singles (to see) if it followed the rules of ISU standards," said a statement from the South Korean body.

- Bjoergen equals medal record for woman -

Seven golds were up for grabs on Saturday with three more to follow on Sunday's last day.

Norwegian cross country skier Marit Bjoergen won the women's 30km mass start, taking her sixth Olympic gold and equalling the record number of medals for a woman at Winter Games.

In a clean sweep for Norway, Bjoergen showed her usual supremacy in the sprint finish, coming home ahead of Therese Johaug and Kristin Stoermer Steira.

Bjoergen has now equalled the record of Soviet speed skater Lidia Skoblikova and Russian cross country skier Lyubov Yegorova in taking six golds at Winter Olympics, the most by any female athlete.

She has also equalled the record of 10 medals overall held by cross country skiers Stefania Belmondo of Italy and Raisa Smetanina of the USSR.

Russia's American-born snowboarder Vic Wild claimed his second gold in Sochi as he stormed to parallel slalom victory while Austria's Julia Dujmovits took the women's title.

The Dutch won both men's and women's team pursuit titles in a fitting end to a dominant showing in Sochi.

The Netherlands won 23 of the 36 medals on offer in men's and women's speed skating, bagging eight of the 12 golds.

Three biathletes, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Norwegian compatriot Emil Hegle Svendsen as well as France's Martin Fourcade, will be going for their third gold medals in the men's 4x7.5km relay. 

Bjoerndalen on Wednesday won a record 13th medal at the Winter Olympics by taking gold in the mixed event.

The 40-year-old holds the record outright after overtaking his compatriot, the cross country ski legend Bjoern Daehlie, who won 12 medals.

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