Speedskating champ Pechstein allowed to continue pursuing lawsuit

Claudia Pechstein called Thursday's ruling "a great day for me."

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MUNICH — Five-time Olympic speedskating champion Claudia Pechstein has won a major victory in her long legal battle with the International Skating Union over a doping ban.

A Munich court on Thursday allowed her to proceed with a lawsuit seeking damages from the ISU.

The Munich state court ruled against the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which had supported a two-year ban imposed on Pechstein in 2009 despite her denials of doping.

The Munich ruling potentially opens the door for other athletes to go to a civil court rather than accept CAS decisions.

Pechstein called the ruling "a great day for me" and a victory "worth more than all my Olympic medals together."

With a total of nine Olympic medals, Pechstein is Germany’s most decorated Winter Olympian. She still competes at age 42.