Olympics Blog

News about the Summer and Winter Games

Category: Cross-Country Skiing

Polish cross-country skier tests positive for banned substance

Marek Poland's Olympic committee announced Thursday one of its cross-country skiers tested positive for a banned substance during the Vancouver Olympics.

Kornelia Marek tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO after helping Poland finish sixth in the women's 20-kilometer relay on Feb. 25. She also competed in the 30K mass start, 10K freestyle and 15K pursuit.

Speaking on Polish television Thursday, Marek denied taking banned substances and said she is waiting to find out the results of her backup "B" sample that was taken during the Games.

"I hope it will be negative," Marek said. "I was never taking any banned substances."

If Marek is found guilty of doping by the International Olympic Committee, she would stripped of her results from the Vancouver Games. The relay team could also be disqualified.

The IOC conducted more than 2,000 drug tests during the Vancouver Games.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Kornelia Marek. Credit: Jacek Bednarczyk / EPA

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland wins gold in women's 30-kilometer classical cross-country skiing

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland denied Marit Bjoergen a fourth gold medal of the Olympics, beating the Norwegian in a frantic final sprint to win the 30-kilometer classical cross-country race at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Saturday.

Kowalczyk and Bjoergen were side by side down the final straightaway before the Norwegian faltered at the end.

Kowalczyk finished in 1 hour, 30 minutes, 33.7 seconds for her first Olympic gold. Bjoergen was 0.3 seconds back to take the silver. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland won the bronze, 1 minute, 5 seconds back.

Kikkan Randall of the U.S. finished 24th, Holly Brooks of the U.S. finished 36th.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Marit Bjoergen wins her third gold medal of Vancouver Olympics


Norway won the women's 4x5-kilometer cross-country relay Thursday after Marit Bjoergen decided the race on the final leg for her third gold medal of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Bjoergen also won gold in the women's individual classic sprint and the women's 15-kilometer pursuit.

Bjoergen and Italy's Sabina Valbusa went out together at the final exchange, but the Norwegian immediately pulled away from her only remaining rival and skied alone the rest of the way.

Norway finished the 4x5-kilometer race in 55 minutes 19.5 seconds. Germany took the silver after Valbusa faded, and Finland won the bronze.

The U.S. finished 12th.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Marit Bjoergen carries Norway's flag after winning her third gold medal of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Credit: Javier Soriano, AFP/Getty Images.

Sweden wins gold in cross-country skiing relay

Sweden won the gold medal in men's cross-country skiing relay after Marcus Hellner pulled away on the last leg for his second gold medal of the Olympics.

Sweden finished the 4x10-kilometer race in 1 hour 45 minutes 5.4 seconds.

Norway won the silver in 1:45:21.3. The bronze went to the Czech Republic (1:45:21.9).

The United States finished 13th in 1:51:27.7. Competing for the United States were Andrew Newell (Shaftsbury, Vt.), Torin Koos (Leavenworth, Wash.), Garrott Kuzzy (Minneapolis) and Simeon Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.).

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Sweden's Anders Soedergren, far left, Marcus Hellner, Johan Olsson and Daniel Richardsson celebrate following their gold medal in the men's 10-kilometer relay on Wednesday. Credit: Dmitry Lovetsky / Associated Press

Day by day: U.S. Olympic medal haul so far

The U.S. has won 26 medals through Tuesday, Feb. 23, with seven gold, nine silver and 10 bronze.

Norway wins gold in men's cross-country freestyle team sprint

Norway won the gold medal in the men's cross-country skiing freestyle team sprint at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Monday, finishing with a time of 19:01.

Germany won the silver in 19:02.3. Russia won the bronze in 19:02.5

The U.S. team finished ninth with a time of 19:21.6.

The freestyle team sprint event features a two-man relay, where each skier takes turns going three laps around a 1.6-kilometer course.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Germany wins gold in women's cross-country team freestyle sprint

Germany has won the women's cross-country team freestyle sprint after Claudia Nystad beat Sweden's Anna Haag in a race to the finish.

Nystad went past Haag as they entered the ski stadium and pulled away on the final sprint. The German team of Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle finished in 18 minutes, 3.7 seconds for the gold. The Swedish team of Haag and Charlotte Kalla took the silver medal, and Russian duo Irina Khazova and Natalia Korosteleva won bronze.

The U.S. team of Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis) and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) finished sixth in 18:51.6.

The freestyle event features a relay with two members on every team taking turns going three laps each around a 1.4-kilometer course.

-- Mitchell Houston in Vancouver, Canada

Marcus Hellner of Sweden wins gold in men's 30K cross-country pursuit


Marcus Hellner of Sweden won the gold medal in the men's 30-kilometer cross-country pursuit at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Hellner completed the course in one hour, 15 minutes, 11.4 seconds.

Tobias Angerer of Germany finished 2.1 seconds behind for the silver medal, and Johan Olsson of Sweden took bronze, 2.8 back.

The highest American finisher was James Southam, who finished in 34th place, over five minutes behind the leader.

The race features a mass start with 15 kilometers of classical skiing before switching to freestyle for the second half.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Marcus Hellner is exultant after completing Saturday's race. Credit: Javier Soriano, AFP/Getty Images.

Marit Bjoergen of Norway wins women's cross-country 15-kilometer pursuit

Norway’s Marit Bjoergen won the gold medal in the women's cross-country 15-kilometer pursuit (7.5-kilometer classic and 7.5-kilometer free) Friday with a time of 39:58.1.

Sweden’s Anna Haag was second (40:07.0) and Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk was third (40:07.4).

The U.S. had four competitors finish, led by Morgan Arritola (Ketchum, Idaho) with a time of 43:25.9 for 38th place. Other finishers were Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis, 43rd, 44:23.3), Holly Brooks (Anchorage, 56th, 45:38.8) and Elizabeth Stephen (East Montpelier, Vt., 58th, 45:53.8).

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Nikita Kriukov wins gold medal in men's individual classic cross-country skiing


Russia's Nikita Kriukov edged countryman Alexander Panzhinskiy in a photo finish to win the gold medal in the men's individual classic cross-country sprint race.
    Kriukov's winning time was 3 minutes, 36.3 seconds. The bronze medal went to Norway's Petter Northug, who finished a whopping 9.2 seconds later.
    The Russians set a quick pace from the start, and it became a two-man race over the final third of the 1.6-kilometer competition.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver

Photo: Nikita Kriukov, left,  of Russia and teammate Alexander Panzhinskiy cross the finish line. Credit: EPA/Patrick Seeger.



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