Turin, Italy Eight Olympic cross-country skiers, including two Americans and one former gold medalist, were suspended for five days after they were found to have excessive hemoglobin levels - the first hint of scandal at the Turin Games.
The suspensions, announced Thursday by the International Ski Federation, last five days from the day the tests were administered. The U.S. Ski Association said the tests were taken Wednesday, meaning the athletes will be barred from competition until at least Monday.
The cross-country testing was done by the ski federation, which said it sampled 224 athletes over two days this week.
Kikkan Randall of Anchorage, Alaska, and Leif Zimmerman, 22, of Bozeman, Mont., were the two American athletes suspended. The others were: Sean Crooks of Canada, Sergey Dolidovich of Belarus, Jean Marc Gaillard of France, Aleksandr Lasutkin of Belarus, Natalia Matveeva of Russia, and Evi Sachenbacher of Germany.
Sachenbacher won gold in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games in the women's relay, and silver in the women's sprint. She is currently seventh in World Cup rankings.
All of the skiers but Matveeva were scheduled to compete in Sunday's pursuit events.