The World Cup races in North America weren't kind to the hosts last weekend, as both the U.S. and Canadian alpine teams lost skiers to serious injury for the rest of the year to serious injury.
In Lake Louise, Alberta, site of the 1988 Olympic alpine events,
Unfortunately, Lanning has always battled injuries. A week after a strong tenth-place showing in Val Gardena, Italy, he slammed into a safety netting while training in nearby Bormio, and suffered nasty facial bruises. He was also airlifted away from the treacherous downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria last season, when he crashed through one fence and banged into another.
During the Super-G race at Lake Louise, Canada's
There was a bright spot for the U.S. team in the Super-G, as
The U.S. women didn't fare much better during the technical races in Aspen. Olympic medal hopeful
Vonn compared the course conditions to pond ice after the race, though U.S. coach
It's crisis time in Russia, where the skiing federation may soon face sanctions because of a rash of doping cases with the national team.
Earlier this year, four cross-country skiers, including Olympic champions
Earlier this week, WADA officials said they were finally ready to conduct a global program to monitor athletes blood profiles across all countries and sports. The lack of cooperation in Russia, which has one of the world's 35 testing labs accredited by WADA, was one of the hold-ups for the program that has been in the works for more than seven years.
If an athlete's blood profile changes significantly from one test to another, officials can disqualify the athlete even without a positive test. This is usually the result of a manipulation such as blood packing that increases oxygen supply to the muscles. A sport such hs cycling has been able to avoid the legal challenges to assertions of manipulation by conducting blood tests and disqualifying athletes whose profiles change throughout a multi-stage race for health reasons, since it can be detrimental for white and red blood cell counts to change quickly.