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Russian Skier Tests Positive

Press Release from Cross Country Canada sent by the Canadian Olympic Committee:

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced that Russian Cross Country skier Larissa Lazutina tested positive for blood doping as the result of tests conducted at World Cup Races on December 8, and 22, 2001.

Under FIS policies, the positive test makes Lazutina ineligible for all
subsequent FIS competitions, including the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt
Lake City.

If the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepts the FIS ruling,
Lazutina will be stripped of all results from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,
including the silver medal won in the women’s 5K pursuit race. The bronze
medal winner in this race was Beckie Scott of Vermillion Alberta, who now
stands to claim the silver medal.

The laboratory confirmed a positive “A” Sample at mid-April. The confirming
positive ‘B’ sample was reported to the FIS on May 7th. FIS Council will
confirm the suspension when that body meets in Portoroz, Slovenia on June
3rd, 2002.

“This announcement is a positive step towards revealing the current
situation in cross-country skiing, and I hope that this will be a catalyst
for reform”, said Beckie Scott. She added “to follow through on this and
impose appropriate sanctions on the offending athletes is a step in the
right direction.”

Cross Country Canada will be calling on the FIS Council to treat this matter
as a second infraction for Lazutina, and will ask that she be given a
lifetime ban from future World Cup and Olympic competition.

“The confirmation of a positive “B” sample from an IOC/WADA accredited laboratory
gives CCC some confidence in the testing protocol. However, the time delay
for getting the “B” sample results is a clear indication that doping control
can and should be significantly improved”, stated Léopold Nadeau, President
of CCC. “Following the recent doping scandals in our sport, CCC will keep
pressure on FIS and WADA to increase the frequency of competition and out of
competition testing, as well as to strengthen the analysis protocols,” added
Mr Nadeau.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) will request confirmation from the IOC
that this positive test will result in Larissa Lazutina forfeiting the
silver medal in the Women’s 5km pursuit race in favour of Beckie Scott, and
that she be disqualified in all other events at the 2002 Olympic Winter
Games”, said Michael Chambers, President of the COC. He added “the COC will
continue to pursue its appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for
Sport (ICAS) in its effort to secure for Beckie Scott the gold medal she
deserves and legitimately earned.”

Lazutina also tested positive at the 30km classic race at the 2002 Olympic
Winter Games, as did Olga Danilova, the Russian winner of the 5K pursuit
race. Because these positive tests took place several days after the 5K
pursuit race, the two athletes were allowed by the IOC to keep those medals.
This decision has been appealed to the International Court for Arbitration
in Sport, and is scheduled to be heard later this spring. Regardless of the
expected disqualification of Lazutina due to the new doping infraction, the
case against Danilova will be pursued.

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