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WINTER OLYMPICS : IOC Upset U.S. Did Not Fire Page

February 11, 1988|RANDY HARVEY | Times Staff Writer

CALGARY, Canada — Prince Alexander de Merode of Belgium, chairman of the International Olympic Committee's drug commission, criticized the United States Olympic Committee Wednesday for not dismissing an official who was involved in a violation of IOC doping rules.

"Officials involved in doping should no longer be allowed to work for an Olympic committee," de Merode said. "It really is quite unacceptable."

He referred to Jim Page, the USOC's assistant director of International Games Preparation, who admitted last December that he approved blood doping for Kerry Lynch, a former member of the U.S. nordic combined ski team.

Blood doping involves taking blood from an athlete, freezing it and then re-injecting it. Some doctors say additional red blood cells re-injected into an athlete increase stamina.

Lynch said he packed his blood before the World Championships last February, when he finished second. He was expected to contend for a medal at the Winter Olympics, which begin Saturday, but he was suspended for all of 1988 by the International Ski Federation.

Doug Peterson, the U.S. coach at the time, also admitted that he approved the procedure and was demoted from his new position as the U.S. nordic program director. Page, formerly the nordic program director, was barred from serving as a technical delegate for the competition here, but will be in Calgary until Friday in his role with the USOC.

USOC President Robert Helmick defended the decision not to dismiss Page.

"Our investigation leads us to believe that the sanctions imposed were appropriate," he said. "The object of what we are doing is to stop abhorrent practices, not to have scapegoats."

De Merode also said the IOC has no evidence to support allegations against a world champion speed skater from the Soviet Union, Nikolai Guliaev. Norwegian speed skater Bjorn Nyland said he received anabolic steroids from Guliaev in December at a World Cup meet in Austria with instructions to pass them to another Norwegian speed skater, Stein Krosby. Guliaev is one of the favorites in the 1,000 and 1,500 here.

"We can't take action based on what one athlete says about another," de Merode said. "This is not sufficient proof."

On the next-to-last day of its 93rd session, the IOC accepted the resignation of Great Britain's Lord Luke of Pavenham, 82, who has been a member since 1951. He recommended that he be replaced by Princess Anne, who is president of the British Olympic Assn. The IOC is expected to approve her as a member today.

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