Russian skier forfeits medals, giving Canada's Beckie Scott Olympic gold

Russian skier forfeits medals, giving Canada’s Beckie Scott Olympic gold{mosimage}USSA — Canadian Beckie Scott, the first North American woman to win an Olympic cross-country skiing medal, on Thursday became the first North American skier — male or female — to win an Olympic cross-country gold as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled two Russian skiers who finished ahead of her in the 2002 Olympic pursuit event had broken doping rules.

Scott, who is married to the three-time U.S. Olympian Justin Wadsworth, was third in the Olympic race behind Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazhutina. However, Lazhutina was caught later in a surprise anti-doping test at the Salt Lake City Olympics and disqualified; the International Ski Federation later revealed results of a pre-Games drug test which Lazhutina failed. That meant she should not have been competing in the 2002 Winter Games. Scott received her silver medal from the International Olympic Committee in October.

Thursday, she was upgraded to Olympic champion when the CAS ignored Russian claims and agreed with Canadian Olympic officials who argued earlier this year that the Olympic charter says any athlete caught cheating — in any form — at a Games should be stripped of all medals from those events. Danilova was stripped of her Olympic gold medal and Scott named as the new champion in the 2002 women’s Olympic pursuit race.

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