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Archive for Friday, February 10, 2006

Officials suspend 8 skiers

February 10, 2006

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— 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.

Comments

Ragingbear 8 years, 10 months ago

Hemoglobin...otherwise known as RED BLOOD CELLS. What is that supposed to mean? I have been told by hospitals that my hemoglobin is high, but within safe limits (something about clotting and stuff if it gets too high).

So now people are getting in trouble for having too much blood and iron?

avhjmlk 8 years, 10 months ago

It's called blood doping--taking transfusions of extra blood to increase your blood volume, thereby increasing your red count volume, so your blood stream can carry more oxygen, giving you increased stamina/lung success. It's part of what Lance Armstrong is accused of doing to become so successful...

Ragingbear 8 years, 10 months ago

But at the same time, there are ways to boost your blood production naturally. Increasing Iron, increased excersize, eating lots of protien, and rapidly losing weight (gain 10lbs on purpose, then burn it off in 2 weeks).

This is somewhat new to me, as I would figure that it would not make a huge difference. Now, if they had a mini O2 bottle on the course, or sucked a few litres of it right before they took off, then yes..

All I know is that both sides are ruining what few decent sports there are.

avhjmlk 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't disagree with you at all. There are natural ways to do it, but you're also right in that too much competitiveness, and too much focus on ratting out cheaters has led to overtesting and people finding non-drug ways to get ahead. So, other than my not-so-sporty body type/skill level, that's another reason I'm glad I'm not a professional athlete...Unless talking is considered a competitive sport!

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