The news came at an inopportune time for SC Magdeburg. The top favorite has to make do without his world-class handball goalkeeper Nikola Portner at the Final Four for the DHB Cup in Cologne. The 30-year-old Swiss man was found to have methamphetamine in a positive competition test. This was announced by the National Anti Doping Agency Germany (Nada) at the request of the German Press Agency.

In the evening, the Presidium of the Handball Bundesliga officially suspended Portner until a decision was made in the disciplinary proceedings. The lawyer representing the SCM also spoke up. “According to current knowledge, the measured concentration level is a fraction of a typical intake of this substance,” said Rainer Tarek Cherkeh.

The test result had previously been communicated to the player. “This information shocked me deeply. I was informed that a competition control of mine apparently showed an ‘analysis result that deviated from the norm’ and that a results management procedure had therefore been initiated,” wrote the goalkeeper of the Champions League winner on Instagram on Wednesday evening .

SCM managing director Marc-Henrik Schmedt referred to the association’s legal counsel in response to a dpa request and did not want to comment on the matter. But the law firm that specializes in sports law: “The SCM is doing everything it can to clarify the matter. Both now and as part of proceedings before the responsible committees of the association.”

Portner regrets the situation

Methamphetamines are synthetically produced substances that are colloquially known as crystal meth. Medically, methamphetamine can be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In competitive sports it can increase alertness.

But how do the substances get into the body of the top athlete? Portner very much regrets the situation and will do everything in his power to demonstrate “that I have not violated any anti-doping regulations and that I have always acted in accordance with the values ​​of sport and will act in the future,” wrote Portner and asked for your understanding “cannot make any further announcements on this for the time being”.

According to the guidelines of the National Anti Doping Agency of Germany, the athlete has the right to request the analysis of the B sample. If this confirms the “result of the A sample is not”, the temporarily suspended athlete is allowed to take part in subsequent competitions of the event, according to the athlete protection rights. Portner can also file an objection within the deadlines.

On the other hand, Portner, who himself denies knowingly wrongdoing, will probably have to accept a doping ban. The club does not have to fear any consequences. However, an equivalent replacement for the top performer is hardly feasible in the short time available for head coach and sports director Bennet Wiegert. He has another top man in goal in Sergey Hernandez, but the Spaniard’s performances are not quite as consistent as Portner, who has been playing in Magdeburg since 2022 and still has a contract until July 30, 2027. These contracts can usually be terminated at any time with a doping clause.

No change in game rating

Without Portner, the Magdeburgers have to go to the cup semi-finals on Saturday (4:10 p.m./ARD and Dyn) against league leaders Füchse Berlin. In Cologne, the SCM wants to try for a triple with the championship and the premier class by winning the cup, because in the league they also have all the title chances in their own hands with one minus point less than the Berliners. Nothing will change in the Portner case. “A change in the game ranking is not an option,” said HBL managing director Frank Bohmann to the German Press Agency.

The official’s statement is based on the statutes and playing regulations of the German Handball Federation (DHB). Accordingly, a loss of points or similar consequences come under Article 11.2 according to the DHB’s anti-doping regulations. only applies “if more than two members of a team in a team sport have been found to have violated anti-doping regulations during the duration of a competitive event”.

This does not apply to the SCM, where there were multiple samples. However, the DHB’s legal system offers more leeway in paragraph 15 under doping: “Other penalties can also be imposed.”