25 , 2001
wants gold for Beckie Scott
Canadian Olympic Association would like to see Beckie Scott's
bronze medal in the five-kilometre pursuit upgraded to gold
after the two cross-country skiers who finished ahead of
her were caught doping Sunday, according to a report by
The COA said it will ask for an investigation into the drug
tests following the 5km pursuit, in which Russia's Olga
Danilova won gold and her teammate Larissa Lazutina won
silver. Scott won the bronze medal.
Both Danilova and Lazutina passed their drug
screens after the 5km, but later tested positive for the
performance-enhancing drug darbepoetin. Lazutina and Danilova
were ejected from the Games and Lazutina was made to return
the gold medal she won in her 30km classical race. She will
be allowed to keep two medals she won earlier, however,
and Danilova will not lose the two medals she won.
Earlier Sunday, when the disqualifications
were announced, the International Olympic Committee said
it could not revoke the other medals because the athletes
had passed those drug tests. But those medals are "tainted",
according to IOC president Jacques Rogge.
"Technically, they are Olympic champions,"
Rogge said. "Morally it is a totally different issue."
The COA is arguing that the Russians also
cheated in the 5km pursuit, although their tests seemed
to indicate otherwise.
"You can ask any doctor - the doping
they've done is a long-term thing," said Dave Wood,
head coach of Canada's cross-country skiing team. "They
didn't just pop a pill one day and get the benefit the next.
"Beckie should be awarded a gold medal."
Wood added that the fact that the Russian
skiers managed to fool pre-Games testing signifies that
the World Anti-Doping Agency is not effective enough.
"You still have a pretty suspect playing
field," he said.
Scott, who is one of Canada's most outspoken
anti-doping advocates, was not surprised that Lazutina and
Danilova were caught.
"Doping is a problem in our sport. Inadequate
testing for doping is an even bigger problem," Scott
said. "I think the evidence is in the events of this
last week and in the news that came out this morning."
Last week, Scott suggested she wasn't on an
even playing field in her race. Asked if she thought the
two women who finished in front of her were clean, Scott
replied "No comment."
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