Friday, March 1, 2002
IOC investigating, disqualifications could follow
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The International Olympic Committee
is investigating two more positive drug tests from the Salt Lake
One case involves the steroid nandrolone, and the other involves
the stimulant methamphetamine, the IOC said Friday. It didn't
identify the athletes or sports involved pending a hearing.
If the tests are confirmed as doping violations, the IOC
executive board would disqualify the athletes and strip them of any
Meanwhile, the International Ski Federation confirmed positive B
drug test samples from Russian cross-country skiers Larissa
Lazutina and Olga Danilova
Lazutina and Danilova both tested positive at the Salt Lake City
Olympics for darbepoetin, which boosts production of oxygen-rich
red blood cells.
The two skiers were suspended from competing until sanctioned by
the International Skiing Federation. The normal ban for drugging
offenses is two years.
Lazutina, 36, was forced to give up her victory in the
30-kilometer classical race and her record-tying 10th Olympic
medal. She was allowed to keep the two silver medals she won in the
15K freestyle and the 10K combined event.
Danilova was disqualified from an eighth-place finish for the
same reason, though she will keep gold and silver medals she won
Spain's Johann Muehlegg was also stripped of his gold in the
50-kilometer race for testing positive for darbepoetin, sold
commercially as Nesp.
IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said hearings likely
would be held early in the week beginning March 11.
Usually, the IOC deals with positive tests at the Olympics
within 36 hours. But since the tests came late in the games and
Olympic officials have gone home, the process will take longer.
A similar situation occurred after the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
German freestyle wrestler Alexander Leipold was stripped of his
gold medal in the 167½-pound class and the medal was awarded to the
losing finalist, Brandon Slay of the United States.
In addition, the IOC launched an investigation Thursday after
blood-transfusion equipment was found in a house used by Austrian
cross-country skiers at the games.
The Austrian ski federation claimed Friday the equipment was
used for legal medical purposes, an explanation rejected by the
The IOC said all samples from Salt Lake had now been analyzed
and accounted for. A total of 1,960 tests -- 642 in-competition
urine tests, 96 out-of-competition urine controls and 1,222 blood
screening tests -- were conducted during the games.
The IOC said the figure represents a threefold increase over the
621 tests conducted at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.