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Italian sledge hockey player fails doping test

ROME (Reuters) - Italian sledge hockey player Igor Stella has been suspended from the Winter Paralympics in Sochi after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, the Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP) said on Friday.

Stella was the first athlete to fail a doping test at this year's Paralympics, which begin with the opening ceremony later on Friday, after blood and urine samples taken in an unannounced test showed traces of clobetasol.

CIP said in a statement that the 23-year-old Stella claimed the steroid came from a cream which he said he had used for the treatment of bedsores.

CIP has suspended Stella while awaiting the results of a test on a B sample.

The attacker has played for the Italian sledge hockey team since 2008. Sochi is his second Paralympic Games after he was a member of the team that finished seventh in Vancouver in 2010.

(Reporting by Terry Daley, editing by Ed Osmond) nL3N0M43YE

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