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Causa Portner: Doping expert explains the effect of crystal meth on handball goalkeepers

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Causa Portner: Doping expert explains the effect of crystal meth on handball goalkeepers

Handball SC Magdeburg

Doping expert explains the effects of crystal meth on handball goalkeeper Portner

As of: 12:33 p.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes

Nikola Portner said he “has not violated any anti-doping rules and has always acted in accordance with the values ​​of sport.”

Quelle: picture alliance/Gonzales Photo/Kent Rasmussen

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Magdeburg’s Nikola Portner’s positive doping test is causing a stir in handball. What would methamphetamines do to a keeper? Expert Fritz Sörgel explains it. Portner’s club is now drawing its first conclusions.

SC Magdeburg reacted quickly to goalkeeper Nikola Portner’s doping ban and signed Mikael Aggefors immediately before the cup weekend. The 39-year-old Swede is moving to the Champions League winner with immediate effect and is signing a contract until June 30, 2024, as the German handball champion announced on Friday.

Aggefors had actually ended his active career in the summer of 2023 to become a goalkeeping coach in his home country. From Magdeburg’s perspective, the lightning-fast transfer was necessary because regular goalkeeper Nikola Portner was temporarily suspended after a positive doping test. According to the National Anti-Doping Agency, methamphetamines were detected in the Swiss case.

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“It is a fortunate circumstance for us to be able to sign a well-known keeper like Mikael in this difficult phase and in such a short time, who is also eligible to play in all competitions. We now hope that we can integrate him as quickly as possible and that he can help us support Sergey Hernandez this weekend,” said coach Bennet Wiegert in a club statement.

The Magdeburgers will once again have two experienced goalkeepers at their disposal in the first cup semi-final against Füchse Berlin on Saturday (4:10 p.m., Dyn). Aggefors won World Cup silver with the national team in 2021. He also celebrated several national championship titles.

“Not surprising,” says the doping expert about the Portner case

Meanwhile, the Portner case continues to have an impact. From the perspective of doping expert Fritz Sörgel, it would not be surprising for a handball goalkeeper to take methamphetamines. In this position, you have to be quick to react, explained the 74-year-old professor of pharmacology: “Someone who raises his hand a tenth of a second faster holds the seven meter.” Amphetamines would stimulate performance both physically and psychologically. “Being a goalkeeper is less about stamina, but about speed of reaction under stressful conditions,” said Sörgel.

Doping expert Sörgel

Source: picture alliance/dpa/Daniel Karmann

The National Anti Doping Agency of Germany (Nada) confirmed on Thursday that methamphetamines had been found in a positive competition sample from the 30-year-old Swiss national goalkeeper and that it was crystal meth. Portner reacted with shock to the result and denied via Instagram that he had intentionally consumed crystal meth. He was provisionally suspended with immediate effect by the Handball Bundesliga Executive Board on Thursday.

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If you take such methamphetamines one or an hour and a half before the game, their effect is long enough to last you through a handball game, explained Sörgel. A certain psychological dependence could arise if one knew that “under these conditions, things get better with this medication”. In order for a real addiction to develop in the classic sense, you would have to take it more or less daily over a long period of time, said Sörgel.

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Portner tested positive on March 10th after the top game against Füchse Berlin (31:28). He played 11:39 minutes in the game and saved one throw. However, SC Magedeburg does not have to fear any consequences. According to the DHB anti-doping regulations, a point deduction or other penalties against a team only occur if there are more than two positive doping tests in a competition.

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If the B sample is positive, Portner faces a ban of between one month and four years. The decisive factor here is whether an athlete can prove that the violation was not committed intentionally.

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