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A Russian sports official ruled out any hint of doping after a skier was suspended for five days Friday in the first whiff of scandal at the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics
A Russian sports official ruled out any hint of doping after a skier was suspended for five days Friday in the first whiff of scandal at the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Cross-country competitor Natalia Matveyeva was found to have a high level of hemoglobin, the red substance in the blood that combines with oxygen to take it round the body, after a blood-test. However, Nikolai Durmanov, the head of the anti-doping department of the Russian Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sport, said this was due to mountain training in the build-up to the Games, which open in Turin on Friday. "All our team was high in mountains in Armenia for a pre-competition practice," Durmanov said. "They are also in the mountains here in Italy." Exercise and training at high altitudes helps increase the flow of hemoglobin, thereby accentuating performance, but high levels are dangerous for athletes, which led to the five-day suspensions. Durmanov said that Matveyeva, who is scheduled to start in Ladies' Team Sprint on February 14, could still race, as there were ways to lower the level of hemoglobin. He said Matveyeva was not alone, as skiers from France, Germany, Belarus and the United States were facing the same problem. Russian cross-country skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova were stripped of their medals and banned from participating in the sport for two years after they tested positive for doping at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Print A Russian sports official ruled out any hint of doping after a skier was suspended for five days Friday in the first whiff of scandal at the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics Bookmark A Russian sports official ruled out any hint of doping after a skier was suspended for five days Friday in the first whiff of scandal at the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics

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